All Good Things
Despite not reading Sarah Turnbull’s 2002 memoir Almost French, a wave of press encouraged me to read her new follow up, All Good Things. While Almost French detailed the author’s move to Paris after finding love and marrying a Frenchman, her new memoir is about the couple’s move from France to Tahiti. The sharp changes in the cultural landscape soon become obvious as an Australian girl turned Parisian and a staunch Frenchman move half way around the world to an island paradise. Along with their move, a key theme in the story is the couple’s desire to have a baby, and Turnbull’s writing beautifully contrasts the pristine island landscape with her own inner turmoil as she deals with her infertility.
The dedication at the front of the book, “For Frederic and Oliver”, confirmed at the outset my suspicion that the outcome of the book would be a happy one, but despite this, All Good Things remained engaging throughout. Some minor historical digressions in to the lives of Henri Matisse and Paul Gauguin, French artists who encountered Tahiti, at times threatened to derail the main narrative thread, but luckily it managed to stay on track. Turnbull’s journey is a poignant and moving read that, while perhaps lacking in suspense, encouraged me to pass the hours dreaming of moving to Tahiti.
Guest Blogger: Jess from one of our small, but well stocked and conveniently located, VU City Flinders store.