By Tim Winton
I was living in London when this novel was published. Reading it was like being able to fly home. I had just spent three years studying acting in Perth, and I knew the areas Winton writes about—the smells, the lights, the type of people. It was one of the most evocative Australian books I've ever read. Two families, who are complete opposites, share a ramshackle house. The Lambs are a more industrious sort of family. The Pickles—they're a gambling family. The characters are flawed; they suffer unbelievable pressures and hardships, and yet they share this desire for community. I found it absolutely beautiful and life affirming.