Book Review: The Service of Clouds by Delia Falconer

I was writing this review in my head as I read. I was going to say that this is more ‘literary’ than I normally read, by which I mean it uses more complex language and imagery than my usual crime fare. I was going to say that I liked it, but it didn’t set me on fire. Until it did. I didn’t see it coming. Completely unexpectedly I fell in love, hard, with this book. I’m going to have to buy my own copy so that I can read it again and again. I’m not going to tell you why or what happened, you have to read it yourself.

The back blurb, now for me filled with promise – now that I love this book now that I know, doesn’t give much away:

It is 1907 and the Blue Mountains are filled with the grand dreams of elsewhere. Eureka Jones, a young pharmacist’s assistant with historical eyes, falls in love with Harry Kitchings, a man who takes pictures of clouds and succumbs to the ‘madness of photography’. Their love turns the mountains sapphire blue.

I can’t promise that this book will make you fall in love with it. I can’t promise you will like it. But I think it is worth giving it a try. It was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 1998, Peter Carey’s Jack Maggs won that year. Jack Maggs was okay, but I think this book is better.

This is my third review for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.

Categories: arts & entertainment, Culture, fun & hobbies

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4 replies

  1. Tantalising review, Mindy. Will consider it for my own list.

  2. How wonderful that you found such unexpected joy in it!
    Thank you for sharing your review for the AWW challenge
    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  3. Intriguing review, esp since I don’t read much tagged “literary” either. Thanks

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