The Idea of Perfection

The Idea of Perfection

Product ID: 14223

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Author: Kate Grenville
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 403
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143032496


Well, he said, and laughed a meaningless laugh. A moment extended itself into awkwardness. Well, he said again, and she said it too at the same moment. Their voices sounded loud together under the awning. She felt as if the whole of Karakarook, behind its windows, must be watching this event that had burst into their silent afternoon: two bodies hitting together, two people standing apologizing.

Douglas Cheeseman is the kind of divorced middle-aged man you’d never glance at twice, although he can tell you more than you’d ever want to know about bridges. Harley Savage, big, plain and uncompromising, knows she’s a danger to herself and anyone else who tries to get too close. Why else would she have gone through three husbands? And for Karakarook, a dying country town that used to think it had a big future, tourists are its last desperate hope.

The Bent Bridge is what brings them all together. Some of the townspeople think the tourists will love it, and Harley agrees. But Douglas Cheeseman is in Karakarook to tar it down and, well, it seems that things are about to become complicated.


Grenville manufactures an extraordinary comedy of manners.
-The Guardian

Grenville rivals Proulx in perfectly marrying people to place in a richly textured, warmly wry portrait of quixotic characters longing for acceptance.

It was a rare treat to read.
-The Times