by Fiona Sussman
‘Good on you, love,’ the old fellow said, his Adam’s apple tracking up and down his bristly neck. ‘Bloody nuisance, pukekos.’
Greta blushed. ‘I didn’t mean to kill it,’ she said, horrified that he thought the act deliberate….
A modest hero, too.’ The man gave a gruff chuckle…
That’s how we meet Greta Jellings – the first sentences of Addressed to Greta establishing setting, tone and the central character.
By just a few more pages into the novel we’re well acquainted with her – background, fears (many of those), and her self assessment. Greta is certainly modest, but no hero.
By her own confession she lacks any degree of sophistication. She doesn’t even have a middle name to distinguish her from any other Greta Jellings wherever they may be. And, as though to give final proof of her lack of worldliness, hadn’t she gone and fallen in love with a gay man.
Who was she? That depended on who was asking. She was an amalgamation
of who her mother, her boss, and her few friends had wanted her to be.
She does know her way around the office of Blue Sun Spas, Pools and Pipes and the suburbs between that and her Devonport home. She has extra-large feet and a pet chook called Marilyn Monroe. As for the rest of the world, she’s very much an ingénue. Whatever happened to her plans for fame?
But things are about to change.
To her own disbelief, no spoilers here about how, Greta’s life is upturned. From the safety of the North Shore, we accompany her and those distinctively large feet to distant shores, all the way both despairing at and sympathizing with her lack of sophistication.
Addressed to Greta is entertaining and well written.
I’m always wary of sequels, series even more so, but I wouldn’t mind meeting Greta again.
As Walter might have written to her – you’ll understand that better when you’ve read the book – ‘Hey Grets [sic], it’s been good knowing you’.
Author: Fiona Sussman
Publisher: Bateman Books