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Secrets and silences

Ruth M Armstrong
Med J Aust 2004; 181 (11): .
Published online: 28 April 2004

In a fictitious Australian town, the central character, Owen, who has spent most of his life confined to his home and is completely mute, allows himself a month in the real world, posing as a hospital maintenance worker. From afar he falls in love with Eva, an exuberantly dressed but painfully shy laboratory assistant. Most of the book is a record of his outrageously voyeuristic attempts to spy on Eva and her scientist lover Gunther, whom he tries to discredit in order to replace him in Eva’s affections. These “spying” passages could make some readers uncomfortable, as it is difficult to know how much Woolfe expects us to suspend our disbelief. However, it is worth pushing through this to enjoy the book’s main themes.

  • Ruth M Armstrong


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