This is a long book – 438 pages- but I didn’t find that it dragged. The first 2/3 of the book reminded me of an Antipodean Brideshead Revisited or Great Gatsby, with the outsider narrator watching wealthy people living out their greed and insecurity. There is an artificiality and staginess to the lives of these wealthy and ruthless people, and the glamour of the New York art scene does not disguise the curdled ugliness of these so-called ‘ beautiful people’. The last 1/3 of the book took on the pace and tone of a mystery, although its ending was too open-ended to be really satisfactory on that score. The descriptions of both Kirribilli and New York were well-drawn, and the dialogue flowed so naturally that it was barely noticeable. There were too many paranormal deadends – a neighbour who read tea-leaves and too many dream sequences- but she captured well the uneasy line between enterprise and exploitation, sexual adventureness and abuse. The book was an amalgam of a coming-of-age love triangle, shot through with a mystery. It worked for me.
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