DIRT MUSIC by Tim Winton

One morning Luther Fox is observed poaching by Georgie Jutland. Chance, or a kind of willed recklessness, has brought Georgie into the life and home of Jim Buckridge, the most prosperous fisherman in the area and a man who loathes poachers, Fox above all. But she’s never fully settled into Jim’s grand house on the water or into the inbred community with its history of violent secrets. After Georgie encounters Fox, her tentative hold on conventional life is severed. Neither of them would call it love, but they can’t stay away from each other no matter how dangerous it is, and out on White Point it is very dangerous.

Set in the dramatic landscape of Western Australia, Dirt Music is a love story about people stifled by grief and regret; a novel about the odds of breaking with the past and about the lure of music. Dirt music, Fox tells Georgie, is “anything you can play on a verandah or porch, without electricity.”

Fox lost all his family — a brother and sister-in-law, and their two kids — in a car accident the year before.  Georgie, a nurse, feels she has always been a savior of broken men.  Her SO is a widower of only a few years.   Georgie is the black sheep of her wealthy family.

Filled with poetic descriptions of Western Australia, the landscape is almost a character in its own right, but the real story, not even the love triangle around which this is told, is a story of the town and its attitudes toward others, and its violent history.  It is, in part,  a story of redemption.

Winton is one of the foremost Australian writers, and it is easy to see why.


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