"Beth is intrigued by the witty and charming Miles, but perplexed by his reluctance to make love to her. When she meets Marcus - the very antithesis of Miles - they embark on a passionate and uneasy relationship. Surrounding Beth are Kyrie, her brash, sexually adventurous cousin; Nita, Marcus's mother, mourning the defection of her man; and Juliet, who continually ponders her own dreams while making everyone else's come true.
"Here are people drawn together in their tentative quests for permanence, tenderness and love in an era when there are no rules about the age, gender, or faithfulness of lovers. Their story is told with the keen perception, the wit, and emotional honesty that characterise all of Jessica Anderson's work."
"A provocative blend of Jane Austen domesticity, Iris Murdoch androgyny, and Australian sensuality." - The Washington Post Book World
"Taking Shelter is a challenging book, bold, sensitive and uncompromising..." - Rosemary Sorensen, The Age
"Style and savvy characterise Jessica Anderson's writing. In a novel about and across the generations Taking Shelter has our attention from page one." - Janet Chimonyo, Australian Bookseller and Publisher
'Scraps,' said Juliet McCracken. 'Debris from the day before.'
'Oh, I don't know,' said Miles, lazy on one of Juliet's sofas, stretched out straight from his propped head to his propped feet.
Beth said, 'Mine just melt away.'
'You have to be quick-quick,' said Juliet, 'and capture them.'
'Capture debris?' asked Miles, his top lip curling from his teeth, as it did when poised for laughter.'
'To show it up for what it is,' said Juliet. 'I wrote all mine down for a while. In an old notebook. At Cable House. Before they fixed the reception.'
'Some research supports Juliet,' said Beth. In one of her little spasms, she twisted an ankle round the leg of her chair. Miles glanced at it. She untwisted it and said, 'According to these people, while we sleep, our brain processes the experiences of the day. It stores some, maybe for future use, and dumps the rest.'
From the Penguin paperback edition, 1989.
This novel was shortlisted for the National Book Council's Banjo Award in 1990.
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Last modified: December 24, 2001.