PALOMINO book cover   Palomino
Elizabeth Jolley

Cover design by Noella Hills

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Elizabeth Jolley's first novel is an unusual, haunting story of the deep relationship between two women, set against the solitude, beauty and harshness of the West Australian landscape."

"Re-reading Palomino I take my hat off to Elizabeth Jolley once again." - Helen Garner, Sydney Morning Herald
"Palomino establishes Elizabeth Jolley as absolutely one of the best writers of fiction in this country. . . her writing is splendid, her characters various, her humour delicious." - Nancy Keesing, Australian Book Review
". . .a remarkable book." - Lucy Frost, Overland
"Jolley's style is simple, often lyrical, and the novel grabs the reader's attention from the first page." - Carolyn Gerrish, Womenspeak

First Paragraph:

Dearest, It's midnight. It's Sunday, another Sunday is just coming. As usual I'm thinking of you. It's quite strange that the simple action of washing and drying your face, remembering it, can take up so many hours of thought. It isn't just the action of wiping the towel over your face, it's the feeling I allowed myself at that moment.

Remember I told you to wash the blood off your face? I was stern and cold when I told you to wash and then all at once an overwhelming tenderness blotted out all my stupid intentions.

It seems a long time since you went away. The house is still bald and empty as it was the night you left. My Dearest! I can only hope the best for you and I do hope so very much for that best.

Your Dove, I shall always think of her as yours, was safely delivered of a son so this time, d'you see, the farmer had some good fortune. What about you?

When you were here whatever I was doing was for you. Everything became part of a tender worship, the noise of the stream in flood rushing between the clay banks, the quiet green paddocks, the blossom and the fruit, all the harvest, when it came, even the constant changing of the season was yours.

Once you asked me if I treated all my patients as I treated you and I laughed at you as you lay there on the sheets looking, up at me. When I examined you how could my hands and fingers avoid caressing you when every time we touched each other, gently and slowly, we always touched each other more.

From the UQP paperback edition, 1988.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2002 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: January 11, 2002.