A Long Way From Home: My Review of Peter Carey’s best-selling book
I enjoyed reading Peter Carey’s A Long Way From Home, though I must say from the beginning when it gets to the fork in the road, I was a little split.
The story was, too.
Carey’s writing is superb and this is one of those award-winning books. It is very much worth the read and enjoyable. There is something smooth about how Carey writes, though I will also admit, I had to jump-start my reading of this book three times to get fully into it. That means I picked it up three separate times and tried to get going with it, set it down cos I just could not get into it. But the third time, my ignition started, and we were off to the races, literally.
A Long Way From Home Summary
The story is about a husband and wife in rural Australia in the 1950s who embark on a journey around the continent in their Ford with 200 or so others. To navigate, they take with them their next-door neighbor, who has recently been let go for hanging a bratty school kid out the second-floor window for being a smart ass. (And I thought I had it bad when I was at Dallas Schools and had to explain away things when a teacher taped a kid to his desk one late May.)
So off they pop and go on the trip and the Bobbseys, the married couple have their differences, but for a glimpse, it looks as though the navigator/school teacher and the missus might have a go at it, but then they don’t. Nonetheless, the hubs gets his head filled with the notion that something happened, and the navigator is sacked. He then winds up in a camp of sorts, teaching Aborigines, which, come to find out, are truly his blood relatives. That he’d been born there, sent away, adopted by a German couple, and this is post WWII and that’s what the smart-ass kid had been bugging the teacher about–being a “Kraut” when he was really not.
To me, that’s where the story went sideways. It was a little too convenient. Too contrived. But it helped bring the story full round and helped the character see a new side of himself, helped him rid himself of demons that had been bothering him all his life, and made for a nice character arc.
A Long Way From Home: Conclusion
Again, I liked the story.
But it began with a couple getting into the Redex Race, and then it was about something far different by the end.
That’s my main criticism.
My Reading List
In 2016, I began reading like a madman. In those days, my revisions to one of my manuscripts were in full swing and I intended to get a better idea of what was selling in the way of novels.
There’s only one good way to accomplish such a feat–reading everything in sight.
And so I did, and still have a stack of books with me constantly that are in a To Be Read pile.
I encourage you to check out my Reading List.
A Long Way From Home is on Donald J. Claxton | The Timberlander’s Reading List