This is the kind of book I love: a quirky, lyrical journey to exotic places. In this story, Edith grows up on a farm in Australia, and in her teenage years her cousin Leopold and his Armenian friend Aram come to stay. On their return, Edith discovers she is pregnant. When her child is one, she boards a ship which will take her across the sea to the Middle East where she intends to find her child's father.
It is the first half of the twentieth century, and the characters experience the Depression and the wars. They endure disability, poverty and loss, but still manage to have hope.
London writes in a similar style to Richard Flanagan, Tim Winton and Anita Shreve, some of my favourite authors. The prose is stark, the characters are solemn and their actions often odd and unexpected. There is no fluff, pomp or glamour in this book. And I was enthralled from the first page to the last. Brilliant.
My rating *****