The Idea Of Perfection

The Idea Of Perfection

Book - 2010
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Published to great acclaim in Britain, Kate Grenville's fifth novel, The Idea of Perfection, recently won the Orange Prize, Britain's most valuable literary award. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheesman, a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a large, rawboned, plain woman who is a part-time museum curator. Harley has come to Karakarook to help the town build a heritage museum; Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge, and from day one, they're on a collision course. Both characters carry a hidden cargo of guilt along with the memories of failed marriages, but out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: something even better than perfection. Elegantly and compassionately told, The Idea of Perfectionis reminiscent of the work of Carol Shields, Peter Carey, and J.M. Coetzee and shows Kate Grenville as "a writer of extraordinary talent" (The New York Times Book Review).
Publisher: New York : HarperPerennial/Modern Classics, 2010.
ISBN: 9780670030804
9781554685196
Branch Call Number: GRE
Characteristics: 401 p.

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WVMLStaffPicks Jan 05, 2015

A funny and thought-provoking look at a small Australian town, with two people who fall in love in an awkward, sweet way. Out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites something unexpected happens—something better than perfection.

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No_Stalkers4Me
Nov 22, 2014

Loved this read. You will recognize yourself and others in the characters. Poignant and amusing. Thumbs up.

31foster May 30, 2012

As the subject headings suggest, Kate Grenville's novel is about a bridge, an engineer and a heritage conservastionist. The bridge and its preservation is the source of controversy in the tiny New South Wales town of Karakarook. Douglas Cheeseman, a man who loves the precision of engineering and finely crafted building, is acutely aware of his own imperfections and of those in the bridge he is sent to replace. Harley Savage, maker of strangely imperfect quilts, finds the discards which are the true heritage artifacts of Karakarook. The connection, the bridge building, between the two is told in finely crafrted prose.
A delight to read.

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