The Transit of Venus Author:Shirley Hazzard The Transit of Venus is considered Shirley Hazzard's most brilliant novel. It tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in post-war England. What happens to these young women--seduction and abandonment, marriage and widowhood, love and betrayal--becomes as moving and wonder... more »ful and yet as predestined as the transits of the planets themselves. Gorgeously written and intricately constructed, Hazzard's novel is a story of place: Sydney, London, New York, Stockholm; of time: from the fifties to the eighties; and above all, of women and men in their passage through the displacements and absurdities of modern life.
"Engrossing, masterly. . . . Combines the satisfaction of a family saga . . . with a highly structured plot reminiscent of Greek tragedy."-- Gail Godwin, The New York Times Book Review
"A wonderfully mysterious book. . . . Both plot and characters are many layered. Unforgettably rich."-- Anne Tyler, The New Republic
"Luminous. . . . Almost without flaw. Aphoristic and iridescent, her language turns paragraphs into events."-- Webster Schott, The Washington Post Book World« less
This is definitely not a "book for the masses". The plot is rambling, and the prose takes your full concentration to really extract the meaning. This isn't a book you can easily breeze through. But if you have the time and fortitude to stick with it, the ending is quite interesting. It reminds me of "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier (in style, not plot or substance): The plot seems to wander aimlessly, with no obvious point, until the end when it all suddenly and unexpectedly comes together.