When Alex Miller's mother died she left him her fragmentary journal from the 1920s. Inspired by her exotic tales as a young woman living in Paris and this entree into her emotional life, Miller has written Conditions of Faith.
With university behind her, Emily Stanton finds herself on the threshold of life. Introduced to a Scottish engineer, the exoticism of his life in Paris beckons, and she leaves her family home in twenties Melbourne to become his wife. But far from providing answers, her conventional marriage awakens in her an ardent desire to find a reason for living beyond that of simply wife and mother, a desire that leads her to flirt with risk, passion and unorthodox friendships, and carries her to Tunisia on a journey of self-questioning and intellectual reawakening.
Conditions of Faith is a provocative romance, but it is also an elegant and intellectually abundant meditation on a timeless dilemma. Impetuous yet entirely sympathetic, Emily Stanton, like Henry James' Isabel Archer, is in search of a reason for living in a society where motherhood is deemed reason enough.