unusual and beautiful book about life and love and the things that
spur us on to do the things we do; it is also a book about the part
that chance plays in our lives.
mid-nineteenth century England, Oscar, acting on his own
interpretation of signs, presents himself at the cold, inhospitable
home of the Anglican minister, seeking a new life, which he feels is
the life God has ordained for him. Later, as a minister, he travels
to Australia in spite of his paralysing fear of water. By this time,
however, he has been caught up in other games of chance – horses
and cards – and fate throws him together with Lucinda, a young
Australian heiress, who loves a game of cards and who is on her way
back to Australia after unsuccessfully looking for a husband in
paths in the new, bustling, rough, dirty, loud colony keep crossing,
neither of them fully aware of their attraction one for the other.
Certain misfortunes befall Oscar, which inadvertently push him closer
to Lucinda, and he becomes enamoured of the glassworks she bought
with part of her fortune. He also becomes complicit in a wonderful
scheme to build a church – not just any church but a church that
will surpass all others in the colony. A scheme that leads to the
climax of the story and to its inevitable and tragic end.
the main characters, the writing is colourful and it moves along at
such a breakneck pace that the reader needs occasionally to rest up
before the next onslaught. Grey, cold paintings of England and
vibrant, hot paintings from Sydney and NSW form the backdrop against
which Oscar and Lucinda become more and more entangled with each
other and with their own obsessions.
story about the different doors that open when nothing is said or
when too much is relegated to chance. Definitely a book worth
Oscar and Lucinda was made into a film in 1997, and you can watch the trailer here.