Here’s another of the many good books that are available for those of us who like to read. This one is published by Harper Collins Australia and it’s truly lovely if you like gentle reads about ordinary people, some of whom are rather more extraordinary than they first appear.
The Near Miss is the story of a group of people in Melbourne Australia that come together after Melody, a refugee from a Nimbin commune, saves a little girl from being run over by a car. The child’s mother invites Melody, her son, and the man that drove them all to the hospital over for a thankyou dinner along with their significant others, and this sets off a chain of interconnected events that see relationships break and new ones form, jobs lost and found, and realisations discovered.
At one point while reading, it crossed my mind that the characters in this story were either neurotic or dull witted or both, and for a while there, I felt it wasn’t going anywhere. I soon realised however, that Melody was the key. Not only was she the one character with a positive, and somewhat enlightened view of the world, but she also ended up being the one that provided the depth to the story that I feared might be missing. Her kindness and willingness to put herself out for the sake of others without asking anything in return had a kind of healing effect on the people around her.
I loved the writing style, particularly when it crossed the line into magical realism. This is a very talented author with a strong and relevant voice. Though it sometimes felt as if little was happening, by the end of the book I felt as if I’d read something quite exceptional.
It’s only 99c at the moment.