yThe Idea of PerfectionKate Grenville,
South Melbourne:Picador,1999Z1414131999single work novel (taught in 5 units)Set in the eccentric backwater of Karakarook New South Wales, this is
the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a shy and clumsy engineer who meets
Harley Savage, a woman who is known for being rather large and abrupt. 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. Douglas is there to pull down a quaint old bridge and Harley aims to
foster heritage. They are clearly on a collision course - but when they
meet they are unaware that something unexpected is going to happen.