I picked this book up from my cousin’s shelf in Sydney, not knowing the writer or the name of the book. I told myself that I had too many Unread books and would just read a page. Then, I turned the page. Listening to the sound of wild birds in the garden, a sound that instantly reminded me I was in Australia, I read this book.
I didn’t care so much about what was going to happen to the characters, the history of the poet Odin (on which the novel is based) or anything else about the story, really.
But, the words and how they came together, and how they moved my spirit was revealing. This was style. Sometimes, that style in other writers can seem pretentious but here, to me, it allowed the expression of deep truths. I found myself buying the ebook version so I could highlight several passages for reference later, something that hadn’t happened to me with fiction in a while.
Back in London, I read about Malouf and the themes he explores. One day, I will read more.
Thank you, David Malouf, for teaching me a little bit about the shape of a novel and the poetry it may contain.