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"Andrea Goldsmith takes a group of Melbourne graduates to Oxford in the 1980s, then revisits them 20-odd years later. Now they are in their mid to late 40s, and life has left its mark on all of them: Jack, the brilliant Islamic scholar, whose career has stalled as he pursues his obsessive and unrequited love for Ava, the brilliant novelist, whose affair with Fleur - her muse - has ended, and who fears she may never write again, despite the constant love and support of Harry, the interloper in the group, the one who caught and married the beautiful Ava, the man who collected barbed wire and knew too much about cheese, and who now holds all their lives in his hands as the director of the academic institute that has brought them all back together in Australia and completely alienated Helen, the brilliant bio-scientist dedicated to eliminating shingella disease, whose work to save lives is being put to very sinister ends by those who fund her, unlike Connie (Conrad) who has been chosen by Harry to give the keynote lecture for his institute because of his media glamour and his easy charisma - though privately Connie would much prefer to spend his time with the beautiful twenty-five-year-old Sara than consider too closely the work his academic reputation rests upon. This is engrossing, character-driven storytelling. As it reveals the excitement and frustration of academic life (from conveying the complete absorption Helen can feel at a conference of scientists to Connies queasy compromises between popularity and rigour) the tissue of friendship remains, changing now as the group reconnects for the first time in decades, dealing with the reality of their present lives and their memories of the past. None will be unchanged by this. And not all will survive ..."--Provided by publisher.


  • Andrea Goldsmith
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