Eyrie, Tim Winton


This week I'm playing along with Karen at Leaf and Petal's linky on favourite books. What a great idea! There's no way I'd try and name an all time favourite, but from those I've read in the last few months? Hands-down Tim Winton's much anticipated Eyrie.

This book smacked me in the heart from page one and I devoured it in a couple of days, even sleep deprived as I was with a brand new bubba.

You see I grew up in Perth and spent a large chunk of time living in Fremantle, where Eyrie is set. My goodness, reading this book was like coming home. Except to Winton's vision of a faster, more expensive, soul-sucked Western Australia, rolling in mining boom-town wealth.


There's no sugar-coating his hometown in Eyrie, and I loved Winton's humour, the jaded bemusement in his writing. For the unemployed, divorced and broken protagonist Tom Keely, while Perth had bulldozed its past and buried its doubts in bluster, Fremantle nursed its grievances and scratched its arse.

Regardless of whether you'd agree with this vision of Perth, Winton delivers a cracking story. Tom Keely, environmental campaigner fallen from grace,  meets a woman from his past and her unusual grandson Kai in his apartment lobby. The encounter forces him slowly out of his self-imposed isolation from society, and charts the consequences of this unlikely friendship with Kai and his grandmother. 

Winton excels in creating everyday characters that represent the fullness of human experience in all it's rawness. Every one of the characters in Eyrie is tinged by failure, vulnerability, humour, kindness, frustration and a longing to connect, to feel truly seen by others. For me, this is the joy in Winton's writing, his ability to touch at the heart of what it means to be human, in all its tragedy and joy.

I'm hopelessly biased towards this book. Every street corner, cafe strip and landmark described in Eyrie is familiar, and reading the book was like catching up with an old friend after years apart. As with all Winton's books, I love the way he describes landscape, place and the profound impact they have on the everyday lives of his characters.

Eyrie has been criticised by some for its ambiguous ending. For me, the ending was only a let-down in so far as it meant leaving some unforgettable characters, their struggles not neatly resolved. I like this. It feels like life. Messy, uncertain, tinged with unmet potential and failure, but also filled with moments of grace and hope.

Winton can write and spin a yarn like nobodies business. For me, Eyrie  is one of his best. Published five years after his last novel, Breathe, and well worth the wait.

Have you read it? Would love to know your thoughts...

Even better, go over to Leaf and Petal and join in on the favourite books' discussion!

Happy long weekend book lovers.

*Above photo, Fremantle Port: Sascha Grant (Creative Commons license)


4 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for joining in Pia! I adore Tim Winton but am yet to read Eyrie. I don't know why I'm putting it off. I fall in love with his world and his flawed characters. As far as the ending goes, I don't think he has ever been a happily-ever-after type of writer has he? x

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    1. No, he certainly is not! I love his books too, they always stay with me after reading them. Thanks for the awesome linky!

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  2. You have inspired me. I don't know Freemantle at all but I do love Tim Winton's writing, and I love the sound of this book! I too need something to read during those sleep-deprived hours nursing a baby...

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  3. I know, finding the right book for those sleep-deprived hours is a tricky one. It's a fine balance between reading and trying not to fall asleep!

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