There go those blurbs again, tricking me into thinking that I could actually enjoy the book."Best courtship story"
, it said. "New York Times Notable Book of the Year",
Holland acquires a land, and then eventually becomes obsessed with planting eucalyptus trees in it. His daughter, Ellen, grows up to be a beauty, and he decides he will let the man who can name all species of eucalypti in his land marry his daughter. Dozens of suitors tried to no avail. Until Ellen meets a mysterious man under a eucalyptus tree, who proceeds to tell her stories and thus, a curious courtship begins. Sounds like a fairy tale to me, and boy do I love fairy tales.
That's not what I got.
Maybe I could have enjoyed the courtship story, if I weren't being constantly bombarded with facts and passages about eucalypti
, which I've never seen in my life. It's a story with lots of stories in it, and sometimes the author steps out of line and discusses the book itself. I just couldn't like the writing style.
I just wanted to know what the courtship was! So I skimmed through the pages and gathered that:
*This book literally is about eucalyptus.
*Murray Bail writes like an old man who writes for old men, which I guess he is
*I finally met the mysterious man (young man
, the synopsis said, but he's really into his 30s. seriously, that's a young man?), who I think remains unnamed until the end of the book.
*The man tells stories to Ellen that are inspired by the species of eucalyptus he happens to see, thus naming all eucalypti and winning Ellen's hand in marriage.
It would've been such a good love story if only it weren't written the way it is. *Severe frustration*