The Time We Have Taken by Steven Carroll

This novel which won the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2008 is the third part of a trilogy. Probably needless to say it reads perfectly well if you havent already read the earlier two - which I havent yet but intend to. The novel is set in Melboune outer suburbia and around a City University in 1970. There are a small set of characters who each speaks for him/herself as he/she faces a change in a relatively ordinary life which is also reflected in the change in society as a whole which is happening apace at that time.
It is a quiet, philosophical novel played out with beautiful prose - it is also painterly , I think. You feel and see the ordinary suburban surroundings , the main characters and the people of the town very strongly.

The plot device is Progress in the suburb which is deemed to be 100 years old in 1970 and the Town luminaries celebration of the landmark occasion, however the book is about much more.

To me it seems to be about - the way people think as they go about their lives - it is philosophical and a book of the mind . By saying this I dont want to give the impression it is difficult - on the contrary but it does repay quiet , careful reading.

Time is an important theme in the novel - Time , present, past and what may come. Relationships is another important theme - dealt with sadly often, but in a particularly gentle way.

I will come back with some other thoughts but I do hope there are some comments forthcoming on this book because I think there is so much one can say about it.