Every May I go to the small town of Clermont Ferrand in order to participate in the Europavox Festival (it was brilliant this year) Anyway I always bring two books from the list with me – The first one was Oscar and Lucinda.
I have stated before that I’m not too crazy about Peter Carey, In fact I read Oscar and Lucinda seven years ago and hated it, but as I’m finding out that with age things tend to change.
Both Oscar and Lucinda are misfits. Oscar is a shy effeminate man who has rejected his Baptist father’s teachings in order to become a vicar and Lucinda wants to prove to the world that a female can rise in society (the book takes place in 1860) and does this by purchasing a glass factory. When both these characters meet they strike it off nicely and they find out that gambling is their passion. Eventually they bet that they cannot build a glass church and ship it to an unknown area of Australia.
Oscar does manage but with results that lead him into trouble.
This novel is very unpredictable and there are some chapters which took me by surprise, this is no ordinary love story and all clichés are thrown out of the window. It’s also a book which deals with colonialism although Carey is clever and makes this seem like a secondary plot until the end when it takes over the supposed romance between Oscar and Lucinda. Yes it was an enjoyable read and I loved Carey’s style of writing, which addictive.
Incidentally there should be more frequent updates as this is the last of the thick books and I have a lot of slim novels to be read.