‘Conditions of Faith’ by Alex Miller
I was sent this book a while ago by Allen & Unwin Book Publishers. ‘Conditions of Faith’ was originally published in Australia in 2000. This is the first book I have read by Alex Miller.
Having finished university, Emily Stanton finds herself on the threshold of life. Then she meets Georges Elder a Scottish engineer from Paris. Emily shows Georges a photograph of herself taken with her parents when she was five years old in Luxembourg Gardens. She tells him that she has always imagined that one day she will go back and claim Paris for herself. The exoticism of Georges’s life there beckons and she leaves her family home in Melbourne as 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. It leads Emily to flirt with risk, passion and unorthodox friendships and it carries her to Tunisia on a journey of self-questioning and intellectual reawakening.
I truly enjoyed this novel and felt sad when it finished. This book has been beautifully written. Divided into six parts and set in 1923 to 1924, it takes the reader on a wonderful trip. Through the lives of a rich cast of characters, ‘Conditions of Faith’ compassionately and subtly explores the problem of a reason for living.
Alex Miller definitely did his research well. The descriptions throughout are wonderful. I also thought it was good that the reader gets an insight into which books the characters, especially Emily were reading. You don’t always get that in novels. This is a book that will stay with me for quite a while.
I give this book 5 out of 5.
For this and other great books, go to http://www.atlantic-books.co.uk.