The Idea of Perfection (1999)

"An arch is two weaknesses which together make a strength."
. . . Leonardo da Vinci

Winner of the Orange Prize

The Idea of Perfection (1999) is about two people who seem the least likely in the world to fall in love. Douglas Cheeseman is an awkward engineer, the sort of divorced man you'd never look at twice. Harley Savage is a big, plain, abrasive woman who's been through three husbands and doesn't want another. Both of them bring all kinds of unhappy baggage to their meeting in the little town of Karakarook, New South Wales, population 1,374.

Being in Karakarook is something of a voyage of discovery for both of them. Unlike Felicity Porcelline, a woman dangerously haunted by the idea of perfection, they come to understand that what looks like weakness can be the best kind of strength.

The Idea of Perfection was a surprise winner of the Orange Prize, Britain's richest literary prize, in 2001.

The Idea of Perfection is published in Australia by Text Publishing.