I read The Natural Way of Things and I wasn’t sure if I would read anything else. However, this one had such interesting reviews that I was intrigued. Plus I booked in to hear her speak at Beaufort St Books, so I thought I should read the novel. She was a fabulous speaker – honest, vulnerable and generous.
Here’s the blurb …
A deeply moving novel about forgiveness, grief, and what it means to be ‘good’, from the award-winning author of The Natural Way of Things and The Weekend.A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place of her childhood, holing up in a small religious community hidden away on the stark plains of the Monaro.She does not believe in God, doesn’t know what prayer is, and finds herself living this strange, reclusive life almost by accident. As she gradually adjusts to the rhythms of monastic life, she finds herself turning again and again to thoughts of her mother, whose early death she can’t forget.Disquiet interrupts this secluded life with three visitations. First comes a terrible mouse plague, each day signalling a new battle against the rising infestation.Second is the return of the skeletal remains of a sister who left the community decades before to minister to deprived women in Thailand – then disappeared, presumed murdered.Finally, a troubling visitor to the monastery pulls the narrator further back into her past.With each of these disturbing arrivals, the woman faces some deep questions. Can a person be truly good? What is forgiveness? Is loss of hope a moral failure? And can the business of grief ever really be finished?A meditative and deeply moving novel from one of Australia’s most acclaimed and best loved writers..’Wood joins the ranks of writers such as Nora Ephron, Penelope Lively and Elizabeth Strout.’ THE GUARDIAN UK
For me this book was not really about the plot, but about the voice of the narrator (unnamed). She could be talking about paint drying and I would be fascinated. The book is really an exploration about what it means to be a good person.