This stunning and intoxicating novel speaks of passion and obsession, ranging in setting from an Australian rainforest to Boston and Toronto. A mysterious and elusive love affair haunts the lives of three women in Australia. Twenty years later, on the other side of the world, Charade Ryan sorts through story and counter-story for her father, the legendary Nicholas, and the truth about her origins.
©1989 Janette Turner Hospital 1989. (P)1998 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
"Is there an authoritative version of one's life, free of faulty memories and misinterpretations? Australian wild child Charade Ryan pursues self-knowledge by seducing a renowned MIT physicist because an aunt once mistook him for Charade's elusive, charismatic father. The personal histories Charade tells her lover rival the intricacies and scope of his cosmic theories. Reader Kate Hosking confidently navigates this metaphysical maze of events and ideas. A listener might easily be lost with a less intrepid guide. Hosking's gift of elucidation blends clarity with enthusiasm. She is particularly enthralling during sporadic moments of dialogue when she suddenly transforms intellectual rhetoric into urgent emotion. It's heady stuff." (AudioFile Magazine)
This is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written in the English language. Somehow I missed Turner Hospital's award winning literary fiction prior to this Audio experience. Charades is a tightly woven character revealed to us in exquisitely visual, scented tangents during her year-long enchantment with and of a brilliant physicist who is twice her age but a few bosons short of a field. The story unfolds in relationship possibilities which impacted me emotionally somewhere between Slaughterhouse Five and The Solitude of Prime Numbers, yet resolves into an elegant solid. If you really love good writing, don't listen to Charades while driving or working with sharp objects.
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