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The Conversion de Amanda Lohrey
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The Conversion (edició 2023)

de Amanda Lohrey (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses
2021,095,800 (3.5)Cap
Nick - so persuasive, ever the optimist, still boyishly handsome. Always on a quest to design the perfect environment, convinced it could heal a wounded soul. The conversion was Nick's idea, but it's Zoe who's here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church. What to do with all that vertical space, those oppressive stained-glass windows? Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be? For Zoe, alone and troubled by a ghost from the recent past, the little church seems empty of the possibilities Nick enthused about. She is stuck in purgatory - until a determined young teacher pushes her way into Zoe's life, convinced of her own peculiar mission for the building. Melanie has something of Nick's unquenchable zeal about her. And it's clear to Zoe that she won't take no for an answer.… (més)
Membre:Hansford
Títol:The Conversion
Autors:Amanda Lohrey (Autor)
Informació:Text Publishing (2023), 240 pages
Col·leccions:poetry, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:Cap

Informació de l'obra

The Conversion de Amanda Lohrey

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Ah, I do love a clever title. A conversion can refer to a religious conversion, a change of heart about something or someone, or property conversion where a building is repurposed into something else. Amanda Lohrey's sparkling new novel The Conversion plays with all of these, but begins with the repurposing of a church.

As the novel starts Zoe and her husband Nick have been sideswiped by the financial crash. It bleeds money out of their assets, and they are going to have to sell their handsome Federation villa they had worked on with such loving care. Nick, ever the optimist, turns this disaster into an opportunity to reinvent themselves. They have become stale and complacent, he says, an established middle-class couple trundling along in their comfortable cocoon, tut-tutting at the television and taking expensive holidays. But they can start over, he says. He can set up a part-time practice as a psychologist, and she won't need to return to her work as a solicitor.
Nick has always been about the possibility of the new. The world was there to be remade, over and over, and anything less was stagnation. If friends began to talk earnestly about their family tree, as they seemed increasingly to do as they aged, he would look at Zoe and roll his eyes. He had little interest in history and above all he despised nostalgia: nostalgia was a form of weakness, emotional and spiritual laziness. The secret of life was to live in a dynamic present illuminated by the light of the possible. (p.11)

As Nick bombards Zoe with his proposal to sell up in Sydney and move to one of those charming little towns that in recent years were being revitalised, the power dynamic in this marriage is revealed. He's sixty-three but she still fancies him, and over the course of a long marriage she has learned to expect that his enthusiasms would wane, soon to be replaced by something else. For his part, he can count on her inertia and her inability to come up with an alternative solution to their straitened circumstances, to get his own way despite her doubts.

Nick is not only oh-so-persuasive, he is also sly. Something that Zoe has yet to learn about him. When they make their way to the countryside to view a church as a potential home, it takes a while for her to realise that this trip is not just the impulse he had implied.

The setting is recognisable as the Hunter Valley, home to coal mines and vineyards and tourism. Not too far from Sydney, it's gentrifying as the nation's economy de-carbonises and the coal industry has to adjust.

And then, before anything has been resolved, Nick dies — in circumstances that reveal his feet of clay.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2023/11/22/the-conversion-2023-by-amanda-lohrey/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Nov 22, 2023 |
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Nick - so persuasive, ever the optimist, still boyishly handsome. Always on a quest to design the perfect environment, convinced it could heal a wounded soul. The conversion was Nick's idea, but it's Zoe who's here now, in a valley of old coalmines and new vineyards, working out how to live in a deconsecrated church. What to do with all that vertical space, those oppressive stained-glass windows? Can a church become a home or, even with all its vestiges removed, will it remain forever what it was intended to be? For Zoe, alone and troubled by a ghost from the recent past, the little church seems empty of the possibilities Nick enthused about. She is stuck in purgatory - until a determined young teacher pushes her way into Zoe's life, convinced of her own peculiar mission for the building. Melanie has something of Nick's unquenchable zeal about her. And it's clear to Zoe that she won't take no for an answer.

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