I felt like a bit of a Australian fraud not having read this book. I got it as an audio book with some credits that my Dad thoughtfully got me and it's been awhile since I listened to it and I've had a baby and lost a lot of sleep in the meantime so this review will be a tad vague.
The book covers the life of two large families the Lambs and the Pickles. The Lambs are a god fearing, hard working christian bunch who are struggling with their faith after a tragedy in the family where one of their sons is almost drowned and is brought back to life but retarded by the lack of oxygen. The Pickles believe in luck and not hard work and their own tragedy, a father's work accident, their mother's predilection for other men have led them to rely on the generosity of their extended family. When their family member dies leaving them a big house in the city they move to Perth and the Lamb's become their tenants.
The book then chronicles the lives of the two families as they make a go of it in their supernatural ramshackle giant house.
All the characters in this book and there is a lot of them are deep and well defined. The way the book is written is deeply Australian and it's really amazing to hear a book written in that tone. I guess that so much of what we read is American (or other) and almost all the TV and movies that I watch are, so I get the greatest sense of comfort and familiarity from reading this author.
Well worth a read (or a listen if you're a commuter).
Peter, my brother, brought me a kindle reader which arrived just today. So I'll probably be doing a lot of reading on that and I'll let you know what it's like when I've done so.