Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

First published 1980; cover shown is the 1981 Penguin Books (Aust) reprint. Cover taken from Girl with Cherubs by Geoffrey Proud. 337p.

The Transit of Venus is a novel of place: Sydney, London, New York, Stockholm; of time: from the fifties to the eighties; and above all, of destiny: of the two beautiful, orphaned sisters, Caro and Grace Bell, and the men in their lives.

First paragraph: "By nightfall the headlines would be reporting devastation. It was simply that the sky, on a shadeless day, suddenly lowered itself like an awning. Purple silence petrified the limbs of trees and stood crops upright in the fields like hair on end. Whatever there was of fresh white paint sprang out from downs or dunes, or lacerated a roadside with a streak of fencing. This occurred shortly after midday on a summer Monday in the south of England.

No comments: