“Dirt Music” by Tim Winton

Dirt Music by Tim Winton was a selection for one of my book groups, chosen by an Aussie ex-pat. I’d never heard of Winton, or his books, so this was one of those good choices that I might never have come across otherwise.

Dirt Music is set in Western Australia. It is told in alternating chapters and sections between Georgie Jutland, the dissatisfied girlfriend of the most powerful man in a small fishing town, and Luther Fox, the last remaining member of a family plagued by infamous bad luck. Georgie and Luther come together and apart, and fight against their families, the past and their conceptions of luck and fate. The writing is evocative, and includes lots of Aussie and fishing jargon that I liked to puzzle out in context. Georgie felt more like a man’s ideal of a woman than an actual woman to me but I enjoyed that she was complicated, frequently unlike-able, and didn’t follow a predictable path of redemption. The ending, though, was far too themes-hammered-home and ’splodey for my taste.

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