Questions of Travel: A Novel - Michelle de Kretser

Release Date - May 2013

Little, Brown, and Company

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

I wanted to love Questions of Travel: A Novel. Michelle de Kretser's prose is amazing. It's descriptive, often haunting, and it's not surprising that she's winning many awards for her writing. Given that, it was often so detailed that I grew tired of all the detail and just wanted to get to the heart of the story. That made it a struggle to read.

In the 1960s, two-year-old Laura is nearly drowned by her twin siblings. Deep down, they blame her for their mother's death. While Laura had nothing to do with it, they've always linked her to their mother's death from breast cancer a short while after Laura was born. Laura's raised by her aunt and grows up hearing many stores of travel to new, exciting worlds. Years later, when her aunt dies, Laura uses her inheritance to travel around the world.

Sri Lankan Ravi has a happier life with a wife and child. Civil War, and his wife's involvement in politics, forces him to seek asylum in Australia. There, he takes a job in a publishing house, the same publishing house where Laura is employed.

As I said earlier, I really struggled with this book. It seemed like it took forever to really get to the heart of the story, and by that point, I felt that I'd wasted time. In the second half of the book, the story finally reaches the point where I became involved with both characters and couldn't wait to see how things turned out. It's just a shame it took that long.

Despite all, I still think the writing in this novel is beautiful and definitely something authors should aim for in terms of description and imagery.


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