Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Holier than Thou

It was with great anticipation that I read 'Holier than Thou' by Laura Buzo.

This is her second novel. Her first - 'Good Oil' received several awards, including being shortlisted for the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Award.

The central character in 'Holier than Thou' is Holly, who is at a crossroads in her life. Her university days are behind her and a challenging and often confronting career as a social worker has just begun : a career where she is expected to deal with suicide and human tragedy as a matter of course. Holly begins her new job determined to maintain her university friends and lifestyle. But the demands of busy careers, work locations and life in general stand in the way. Nothing stays the same forever.

Holly lives with her boyfriend who is part of her university circle, but she is increasingly attracted to one of her colleagues, a dreadlocked, circus performer by the name of Nick.

Loss is a major theme in this novel, which switches between Holly's life as a fifteen year old where her father is terminally ill, to her life as a 23 year old.

A major friend from her adolescence is cool, emotionally aloof Liam. Unlike Holly, however, Liam cuts ties with his old friends and Holly finds this very distressing.

Characters are believable and uncontrived.

Another fine novel by Laura Buzo.

-Ann

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