Harry Potter House Eds reading groups rebus 30th anniversary
Search our site
The Stolen Bicycle by Ming-Yi Wu Read the opening extract of the brand new Ming-Yi Wu book before its publication on 26/10/2017

Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany
  

Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living

Literary Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Reading Groups   eBook Favourites   

RRP £9.99

Download an extract Discuss on Facebook Discuss this book on our Literary Contemporary Facebook group Share this book

Lovereading view...


This review is provided by bookgroup.info.

“There are days of slow chugging through the wheat. I look out of the window at the engine as it rounds a bend. Living on a train is like living inside the body of a snake. We are always leaning into the curves, always looking forwards, or backwards, never around………..” So begins this extraordinary first novel by Carrie Tiffany.

It is 1934 and the government ‘Better Farming Trainâ is bringing expert scientific advice to the smallholders and farmers of the vast Australian countryside. Skilled persons, who teach and advise these small town folk, staff the train. They are there to instruct that, in order to increase productivity, it is the farmersâ patriotic duty to use the application of science in their daily lives. Among these experts are our two main protagonists – the narrator, Jean Finnegan (seamstress) and Robert Pettergree (agronomist).

In the stifling, claustrophobic atmosphere of the train their fate is sealed after an unexpected, passionate encounter amid the heady drone of the bees in the ‘honey carâ. Bound by this action (though they donât speak of it again) the two are married and set up home in the Mallee a remote and unforgiving region. Here they live an impoverished existence - both emotionally and materially. While Robert experiments with his ‘super-phosphateâ and scientific wheat production methods, Jean dutifully records the yields and quality of the bread produced. Their home is a laboratory, their lives an experiment. A series of calamitous crop failures turn the region into a dust-bowl and Robert is blamed (and blames himself) for the tragedy that follows.

This is a captivating book beautifully written in simple spare prose and, in a rather nice editorial quirk, the text is interspersed with photographs - as though placed there by Jean herself.

The Lovereading view...

An enchanting and wise novel about the rocky terrain of both a hostile landscape and the human heart. Shorlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2006.

If you like Carrie Tiffany you might also like to read books by Kate Grenville, Marina Lewycka and Nicholas Drayson.

Win a Set of 10 Bloomsbury Modern Classics!

This month Bloomsbury has launched a series of ten modern classics chosen from highlights of the publisher's last thiry years, each with an eye-catching, iconic illustrated cover - and we have a full set to give away!

The ten titles are Restless by William Boyd, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels, The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale and The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

To have a chance of winning this fantastic prize, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 6 November 2017. The winners will be notified by 20 November 2017.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 06/11/2017

Synopsis

Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany

It is 1934, the Great War is long over and the next is yet to come. Amid billowing clouds of dust and information, the government ‘Better Farming Trainâ slides through the wheat fields and small towns of Australia, bringing expert advice to those living on the land. The train is on a crusade to persuade the country that science is the key to successful farming, and that productivity is patriotic.

In the swaying cars an unlikely love affair occurs between Robert Pettergree, a man with an unusual taste for soil, and Jean Finnegan, a talented young seamstress with a hunger for knowledge. In an atmosphere of heady scientific idealism, they marry and settle in the impoverished Mallee with the ambition of proving that a scientific approach to cultivation can transform the land.

But after seasons of failing crops, and with a new World War looming, Robert and Jean are forced to confront each other, the community they have inadvertently destroyed, and the impact of their actions on an ancient and fragile landscape.

Shot through with humour and a quiet wisdom, this haunting first novel vividly captures the hope and the disappointment of the era when it was possible to believe in the perfectibility of both nature and humankind.

Reviews

'Beautifully written . . . kindly, sometimes hilarious and ultimately very sad' Times Literary Supplement

'A peach of a first novel by a writer with a deep understanding of relationships and the outside pressures that wear away the good soil' Sunday Times

About the Author

Carrie Tiffany was born in West Yorkshire. Her family migrated to Western Australia in the early 1970s where an attempt to live off the land failed. She spent her early twenties working as a park ranger, and now lives in Melbourne.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

21st April 2006

Author

Carrie Tiffany

More books by Carrie Tiffany
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Author's Website

www.carrietiffany.com.au/

Publisher

Pan Macmillan

Format

Paperback
272 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780330437776

Because of Lovereading I have broadened my reading horizons with some really great books that I probably would never have chosen myself.

Susan Walsh

It has enriched my leisure time by introducing me to a world of books which I would not have previously considered.

Val Rowe

I love Lovereading because of its ability to connect people that love books & unite them in a friendly, stimulating & interesting community.

Megan Olwen William

It's a lively, independent website with reviews, recommendations and more - with a huge range of books available to buy in all formats.

Alison Layland

If you love reading, then you'll love Lovereading! Full of tips & info for every discerning reader.

Lynne Rapson

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

At Lovereading there are fabulous books available in every genre, with great reviews to help you pick the right book for you.

Teresa O'Halloran

Ever purchased a book, read a few pages & thought I'm not going to enjoy this? Honest book reviews mean you'll never have that problem again

Jill Peters

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools