Set in Sydney, London and Colombo, and taking side-trips all over the world, Questions of Travel examines exactly that: what is it that urges us to see other countries and cultures, and what is it we gain from our fleeting observations of them?
The novel's two main characters, young Australian woman Laura and young Sri Lankan man Ravi, are both in search of home - not just where it may be, but what it is.
Laura is restless and unfulfilled and spends her youth travelling all over the world before wondering whether home might be right back where she started out from. She returns to Sydney and to the affair she's longed for, but eventually realises home cannot be conjured by other people - it is from within her that she will find that sense of place and belonging. Ravi flees his homeland after a terrorist attack claims his Tamil wife and daughter. He is a refugee in the widest sense of the world - fleeing not only danger in his homeland but the horror in his own heart and the memories that won't let him go. Perhaps Australia is the haven he has been searching for - if he is allowed to stay - but when he is eventually forced to decide, why is his heart telling him to take a different turn altogether?
Home, heart, belonging, exile. How do we know when we are home and what does it actually mean?
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I was not immediately engaged, but once I was into it I found it fascinating. The characters are very well drawn and some of Michelle's descriptions are a delight, I have post-it notes scattered throughout so that I can go back and smile again. It is also a very moving book about meaning and connection.
This is a wonderful read. Every sentence is beautifully written and the ideas it explores are really interesting. Many of the characters and places will be familiar to Australian readers - presented with lots of great insights and plenty of humour!
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 1st March 2013
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 5.2
Weight (kg): 0.855