eyrie

The latest addition to my website is Tim Winton‘s Eyrie. While not his best, this is another fine novel from Winton. Tom Keely was a successful advocate for WildForce, an Australian environmental group that took on and beat businesses flouting environmental laws. But it all went sour, as did his marriage. He is now living on his dwindling savings in a high rise flat in Fremantle and drinking heavily. One day, he bumps into a woman of around his age with a young boy, who also lives in the block of flats. She recognises him and identifies herself as Gemma Buck. Tom’s parents were religious and his father, Neville, in particular, took it upon himself to help the downtrodden in the poor district where they lived, using his fists if necessary. Gemma’s father regularly abused her mother and, for a while, Gemma and her sister lived with the Keelys. She is now looking after her grandson, Kai, working stacking shelves in a supermarket, while, Carly, her daughter, is in prison for drugs and the boy’s father, Stewie, is not interested in his son. Tom had always wanted a child and, despite his own personal problems, he gradually, if somewhat reluctantly, becomes involved in the life of Gemma and Kai, though not without some difficulty. His own problems, Gemma’s problems, Kai’s uncertainty about life and Stewie’s need for money for his drug habit all combine to make things complicated for Tom, even with the help of his mother, Doris, now a widow, who continues her struggle for social justice.