The Pickle and Lamb families are like chalk and cheese but for the separate tragedies that bring them together in an old house on the outskirts of Perth. But just as chalk and cheese, disparate as they are, share some elements, over time so too do these dysfunctional families.
Set in post-World War II, this Australian classic examines, through its delightfully eccentric and likeable characters, tough times in the 'Lucky Country'.
Comments from GroupsWe loved the book and had an in-depth discussion about Tim Winton and the novel itself. The character Oriel was a favourite for most of us, and the dance scene at Rose's wedding where she and Dolly take to the floor got special mention. We discussed the concept of 'dream-time', and how this flavoured the novel. Nelson 014 About half of us read the book through to the end; we all found it troubling and rather depressing. But, as always, we had a great discussion. Generally those who had persevered thought it was worth the effort. Upper Hutt 003 We found 'Cloudstreet' an earthy story about earthy people, and seemingly simple narration but with very complex undertones. We felt the gradual sense of togetherness that both families achieved showed that love and acceptance are precious and important to everyone. The sense of merging together is epitomized by the marriage of Rose and Quick. Fish was a delight, and his eventual reunion with his beloved water was very poignantly portrayed. Auckland 088 This book not a favourite - very long-winded and wordy, although some amazing descriptions and conversations. Masterton 013 We all loved the language (and skill in using it) in this book, but still struggled with it. It took a long time to get into it and sort out the characters, but then it became compelling, although puzzling, reading. There was much discussion on stereotypes, and the spiritual/fate aspect of the story. Putaruru 001 The group was generally enthusiastic about 'Cloudstreet'. Only one a little less so. Another is already reading one of Tim Winton's novels from our local library. We agreed that the author's use of language was exceptional. Some found the lack of speech marks disconcerting at first. As usual our discussion was robust. There was some hilarity as people reminisced about early childhood memories of the era. Overall, we can recommend 'Cloudstreet' as an enjoyable, thought provoking read. Whanganui 002