If you loved A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, you'll love The Fine Colour of Rust.
Single mother Loretta Boskovic may have fantasies about dumping her two kids in the orphanage and riding off on a Harley with her dream lover, but her reality is life in a dusty country town called Gunapan.
A self-dubbed 'old scrag', Loretta's got a big heart and a strong sense of injustice.
So, when Gunapan's primary school is threatened with closure, and there's a whiff of corruption wafting through the corridors of the local council, she stirs into action.
She's short of money, influence and a fully functioning car, but she does have loyal friends who'll do whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home.
The Fine Colour of Rust is a wryly funny, beautifully observed, life-affirming novel about friendship, love and fighting for things that matter.
In Loretta Boskovic, Paddy O'Reilly (writing as P A O'Reilly) has created a truly endearing heroine who gives us all permission to dream.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 28/02/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780007434954
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Review by VivienneR
Epigraph: The Japanese have a word, sabi, which connotes the simple beauty of worn and imperfect and impermanent things: a weathered fence; an old cracking bough in a tree; a silver bowl mottled with tarnish; the fine color of rust.Loretta Boskovic has been abandoned by her husband and left in a small dusty Australian town with her two children. Her imaginary life, where she leaves her children at an orphanage and meets Mr Beemer, or Mr Harley, competes with the realism of small town life with kids she loves even though they are not perfect, and good friends, including Norm Stevens, father figure and adopted grandfather to her kids. O'Reilly has not only painted an excellent picture of the small Australian town but created wonderful characters who come alive. The topics that spur Loretta's activism are common enough: single parenting, injustice, political intrigue, told with humour but without turning it into a comedy. I enjoyed this book enormously.