CHARADES book cover   Charades
Janette Turner Hospital

Dustjacket synopsis:
"This stunning and intoxicating novel speaks of passion and obsession, ranging in setting from an Australian rainforest to Boston and Toronto. A mysterious and elusive love affair hants the lives of three women in Australia. Twenty years later, on the other side of the world, Charade Ryan sorts through story and counter-story for her father, the legendary Nicholas, and the truth about her origins."

"Janette Turner Hospital goes from strength to literary strength - ever brilliant in ideas, graceful in expression, resourceful in story - and in Charades throwing in, for good measure, a heady eroticism. I loved it!" - Fay Weldon
"Vividly imagined . . . keeps the reader in thrall." - David Lodge
". . . delicious comic scenes . . . sexual encounters, moments of high drama, of suspense, of pathos . . . everything the most hard-to-please reader of novels could wish for." - Mary Lord, Overland
"Charades is an accomplished novel - written with wit and high-spirited intelligence." - Peter Pierce, Herald

First Paragraph

The grand unified theories, Koenig writes, are difficult to verify experimentally. Nevertheless, they illuminate our understanding of elementary-particle interactions so elegantly that many physicists find them extremely attractive.

"What an extraordinary sentence," she says.

He is deeply startled and spins full circle, almost pitching his desk chair off its base and virtually colliding with her. "Good God!" he says. "How-?"

"So elegantly." The girl brings her hands together in an odd gesture of wonder. A mass of hair, which is fair and unruly though tamed into a single thick braid, falls over one shoulder. Her eyes are a curious colour, a kind of borderline blue, intense; or perhaps (it is the middle of the night, and the desk lamp casts odd shadows) a sort of sea-green.

"So elegantly," she repeats, opening her hands, looking at them as if the words, mysterious and glittering, were cradled there. Her smile is speculative, dry, possibly mocking. "Elegance as scientific methodology?"

From the UQP paperback edition, 1991.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: December 24, 2001.