The Estuary

Georgia Savage, Author Graywolf Press $20 (216p) ISBN 978-1-55597-172-4
Deeply troubled by her dysfunctional upbringing and the untimely death of her adored husband, Vinnie Beaumont finds the peace and community she craves when she takes a job as an accountant - cum - babysitter at a private hotel on Australia's Queensland coast. In a simple, natural style, she relates the almost random series of events that finally heal her psychological wounds. Many of the characters she meets during this zen-like journey (a device reminiscent of Savage's hailed The House Tibet ) are feisty, provocative and interesting, but Vinnie herself is so sketchily drawn and passive that it's hard to evoke sympathy for her. Having felt unloved by her dotty, domineering mother, with whom she seems to have been in unacknowledged sexual competition, she repeats the pattern by ignoring her own daughter, Clare (after her husband's death, she allowed Clare to be raised by a friend). The stunning-looking Vinnie has sexually charged encounters with a karate-practicing gardener, a balalaika-playing Yugoslav and an anarchist lesbian, each of whom helps her cope with her emotional problems. Savage has created a woman beset by contemporary concerns, but instead of a modern-spirited heroine, she gives us a downtrodden, passive beauty. ( Apr. )
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
Paperback - 216 pages - 978-0-7022-2115-6
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