Summary

"Harley Savage is a plain, rawboned woman, a part-time museum curator and quilting expert with three failed marriages and a heart condition. Douglas Cheeseman is a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, one marriage gone sour, and a crippling lack of physical courage. Seeming to be incompetent was something Douglas did to protect himself, just as having a "dangerous streak" served the same purpose for Harley." "Harley and Douglas arrive in the eccentric little New South Wales country town of Karakarook at the same time; she's there to help build a heritage museum, and he's there to demolish the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they are on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites something unexpected happens: something even better than perfection."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Published to great acclaim in Britain, Kate Grenville's fifth novel, The Idea of Perfection, recently won the Orange Prize, Britain's most valuable literary award. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheesman, a shy, gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a large, rawboned, plain woman who is a part-time museum curator. Harley has come to Karakarook to help the town build a heritage museum; Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge, and from day one, they're on a collision course. Both characters carry a hidden cargo of guilt along with the memories of failed marriages, but out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: something even better than perfection.

Elegantly and compassionately told, The Idea of Perfectionis reminiscent of the work of Carol Shields, Peter Carey, and J.M. Coetzee and shows Kate Grenville as "a writer of extraordinary talent" (The New York Times Book Review).