In my opinion Tim Winton is a very gifted writer, but this book makes me doubt his abilities as a storyteller.  It is filled with the author's trademark word pictures, helping the reader to see the described activity in a minimum of words that are strung together for maximum impact.  I found the view of Ireland, Greece, Italy, and Paris all very graphic and engaging, especially when seen through the eyes of the main character, Scully, or his precocious daughter Billie.  But that is about all I can say in positive terms about this novel.  I am not sophisticated enough to appreciate literature for its own sake, and I am very much in favor of stories that have some sort of conclusion.  This book does not have a conclusion, and I found the incomprehensible decision of Scully to go chasing his absent wife around Europe annoying.  A reasonable person who would be reunited with his seven year old daughter after she was abandoned by her mother would, in my opinion, wait until the girl became conversant enough to explain the situation before spending a fortune on airfare to engage in a fruitless quest.  This is especially true of Billie, who is later found to be a very bright child capable of looking after her father as well as  herself, and who has no problems communicating with anyone else in the novel.


I looked up several reviews of this book after finishing it and discovered readers either loved it or hated it.  There were no middle ground opinions, which I guess explains my own take on the book.  I found it interesting, but I cannot recommend it.

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I'm afraid I'm one of those who loved this book, in fact for me it is possibly my favourite Tim Winton and (dare I say it) better than Cloudstreet! 

Yes I agree with Merilyn. I loved this book and I can understand Scully's emotional turmoil. I don't think the novel needed an ending to tie up everything though that would have been nice. It is my favourite Tim Winton as well!

I am eager to try another Tim Winton book in spite of my disappointment with this one.  I really appreciate hearing your take on this review, folks!  That's what this forum is all about. 

I am with you Kim. I didn't like this book and only got into the first few pages before I gave up on it. I have since tried other Tim Winton's books with the same result. Only Cloudstreet has shone for me.



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