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A Rolling Stone

452 pages7 hours


Wattle Creek is a typical Australian country town in the 1960s, floundering in its attempt to keep up with a rapidly changing world.  This is the era of draft dodgers, mass migration of the young to the city, hippies, the death of local industry, struggling footy teams and large properties - once jewels in the nation's crown - being broken up, their beloved fittings gracing the local antique stores and larger country pubs.   At least 6 o'clock closing is now a thing of the past.

Jock Hathaway, a recently retired post master, his mind a whirr at the wonder of life's many mysteries, is never idle.  Like those around him, we can only watch with bemusement as we follow him on his latest venture.  We meet many of the town folk and begin to see what makes a rural community tick.  Unnervingly, the name of Bernie Ellis, the unscrupulous mayor, keeps cropping up.

An inveterate handyman, always ready to serve those in need, particularly the ladies, he must also tend to the wishes of the wife's belligerent hospital-bound brother. All this, and managing his new scheme, is becoming a nightmare.  Oh, and have I mentioned the son-in-law?

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