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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October - Swimming With the Jellyfish by- Vicki Hastrich (Je)

Published in 2001, this is the author's first novel. The author is Australian and the book is set in a coastal country town. We think it might be set in the 70's but we're not sure. We had mixed feelings about this book. Some of us enjoyed it and loved her writing and characters, while others found it hard to get into. Some did not like it at all and felt that there were lots of ideas but things did not fit together well. Will we read another book by this author? Only one of us would like to read her new book "The Great Arch"!! Lets see how it goes .............

Part of the blurb from the back cover:

Swimming with the Jellyfish pulls up the blinds in the sort of coastal town we've all driven through, holidayed in or lived in, revealing, with humour, originality, insight and, above all, love, lives as fascinating and eccentric as any in Dylan Thomas' Under Milkwood.

The following summary is taken from a Trinity College, WA Study Skills Document for students:

This amusing and insightful novel tells the ironic story of a middle aged woman, Lal,who lives in a sleepy and insular Australian coastal town, Pocket Head with a fascinating and recognizable cast of characters. In searching for the solution to her own history, the disappearance of her mother twenty years ago, she takes a leap away from her usual pedestrian existence and joins the local Historical Society. Here she meets many of the town’s eccentric inhabitants, many of whom are more interested in maintaining their social cache that in actually exploring history. In her pursuit of this history Lal first discovers the more famous, then less well known stories of her town, eventually realising why some of them have been buried for so long. Her journey within as she is exposed to more information about the world and the interesting characters in it and comes to know her own heart is celebrated in this lyrical book.The book is honest and humorous, illuminating small town politics and the bite of rumour, the mysteries of people’s lives and heritage, and the beauty of the landscape from gum leaves to jellyfish.

Scroll down this link (roughly 12 authors down, just after Catherine Harris) .... to find a picture of author and a little more about the book here:

(There were only 5 of us at todays meeting. The other 4 are away...... De is in Busselton,.... Ant is somewhere in France, ..... Sa is somewhere in the UK, ..... An is on her way back from somewhere down South ....... )

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