Every year I get at least one book for Christmas and as I no longer buy as many books as I used to, this always feels like a bit of a treat for me.
This year much to my delight, I was given, Tim Winton's latest - Eyrie.
Tim Winton tends to polarise readers across the country,
There are those who can't fathom why he is revered as one of the country's greatest writers and there are others who hang on his every written word.
I am somewhere in the middle.
It's been five years since his last novel, Breath, which I didn't enjoy at all and which made me a little wary about Eyrie at first.
However, with memories of The Turning and also Cloudstreet, my two favourite of his novels large in my mind, I delved on in.
Surprisingly, for me at least, it turned into quite the page-turner and rather than savouring his prose-like style, I ploughed through quickly, felt quite sad when I quickly reached the end.
Winton is known for his incredibly descriptive way of writing and using similes far more than most novelists. As I was reading it I did think that it would be near impossible for a reader from any country other than Australia to understand his writing - it is so very colloquial.
I also felt that there were a few references that dated the story - as someone in their 40's I got them but there would be many readers younger than me that might have been left a little baffled by some of the content.
The story centres around down-on-his-luck environmental campaigner, Tom Keely, and the reintroduction into his life of someone he knew as a child and who now has run into difficult times.
Barely able to control his own life which is spiralling out of control, Tom takes the woman, Gemma and her young grandson, Kai under his wing.
That's about as much as I will tell you as I don't want to give anything away - least of all the ending!
Suffice to say I really enjoyed this book.
I love the descriptive means by which Winton writes - he has a way of making me feel like I am actually there with him on a beach or watching a bird soar through the sky.
As a character I found the flawed Tom Keely likeable and I wanted him to 'have a win'.
There are a number of thinly-veiled, or in some cases not at all veiled, barbs at the mining industry in WA, Winton's home state, and the impact of this on the environment.
If you get the chance grab this book and settle in for an interesting read.
I'm now about to dive into Barracuda by Christos Tsiolkas, author of The Slap.
How about you - what are you reading??
All recommendations greatly appreciated.