In the final novella of Nick Earls's quintet The Wisdom Tree, a benign security guard, Wanda, misquotes Tolstoy: 'No family is perfect. But each family isn't perfect in its own way.' Crossing between continents, each of these intersecting novellas reveals characters who variously express love for the institution of family and opportunistically exploit it. Compromised ambition flourishes throughout. Narrators find themselves support acts to the aspirations of others. Success, with its brief euphorias, might or might not come, but compromise has its own rewards.
Anthony Lynch reviews 'The Wisdom Tree: Five novellas' by Nick Earls
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Anthony Lynch lives on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, where he writes poetry, fiction, and reviews. His work has appeared in The Age, The Best Australian Poems, Island, and Southerly. His short story collection Redfin (2007) was shortlisted for the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards. His poetry collection Night Train was published in late 2011 by Clouds of Magellan. He is publisher at the independent publishing house Whitmore Press and an editor at Deakin University.
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