INDELIBLE INK by Fiona McGregor, Book Review

Indelible Ink Synopsis

Indelible Ink by Fiona McGregorMarie King is fifty-nine, recently divorced, and has lived a rather conventional life on Sydney’s affluent north shore. Now her three children have moved out, the family home is to be sold, and with it will go her beloved garden. On a drunken whim, Marie gets a tattoo – an act that gives way to an unexpected friendship with her tattoo artist, Rhys.

Before long, Rhys has introduced Marie to a side of the city that clashes with her staid north-shore milieu. Her children are mortified by their mother’s transformation, but have their own challenges to deal with: workplace politics; love affairs old and new; and, of course, the real-estate market. (Scribe)

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Do not be fooled by the beautiful cover art on the new release of Fiona McGregor’s Age Book of the Year Award winning Indelible Ink. This is not chick lit.

In Indelible Ink Fiona McGregor has produced a literary work of high quality with a surprisingly gritty edge.

If you are a fan of plot rather than prose, this novel may not be for you. Indelible Ink is an intense and extremely detailed character-driven exploration of themes such as greed, consumerism, classism and bigotry in general.

She was also aware, subliminally if nothing else, that there remained an impulse in her to spend because she didn’t quite believe this asset was her entitlement; her treasure was also her albatross and the impulse to destroy was all bound up with the impulse to preserve. The sadness of losing it contained also relief. Therein seemed to lie the possibility of feeling.

While much of the novel revolves around the life of Marie King and then increasingly her children, I consider the city of Sydney a leading character in its own right. Through Fiona McGregor’s evocative and sumptuous prose, the transformation of Sydney described mirrors the transformation of the family and its members, and vice versa.

She considered herself now, the white skin everywhere broken and coloured. Awareness of difference had come to her, and its corollary, awareness of judgement. She took measures in public because of this, and with the right dress code could maintain her previous position. And that was the thing as well: to recognise what she had taken for granted: a position. To recognise its ebb.

I mentioned earlier the stunning cover art could possibly give readers the incorrect impression that the content within was all fairy dust and roses. On reflection, I think the cover art well represents the real story being told in Indelible Ink. That not everything is ever what it first seems. That glossy facades often disguise seedy underbellies.

Indelible Ink is a powerful novel that forces you to reflect on your own actions and motivations, and what truly matters in life.

Although the subject matter tackled and characters in Indelible Ink were rarely pleasant, and even confronting in places, Fiona McGregor’s exquisite prose was a pleasure to read.

BOOK RATING: The Story 3.75 / 5 ; The Writing 4.5 / 5  —  Overall 4.15

Get your copy of Indelible Ink from:

Book Depository | Amazon | Kobobooks | B&N | Booktopia(Aus) | Indigo

Genre: Drama, Literature, Romance

This title contributes to my participation in the Aussie Author Challenge 2012 and the 2012 Australian Women Writer Challenge.

About the Author, Fiona McGregor

Fiona McGregor is the Australian author of the works of fiction Au Pair, shortlisted for The Australian/Vogel Award; Suck My Toes, winner of the Steele Rudd Award; and Chemical Palace, shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Award for fiction. Fiona has also written a travel memoir, Strange Museums. She was voted one of the inaugural Best Young Novelists by the Sydney Morning Herald in 1997.

Fiona is also known as a performance artist. She has performed live across Australia and Europe, and her video works have been seen internationally.

– Check out Fiona McGregor’s website

Interview: Christos Tsiolkas, much-loved author of The Slap, speaks to Fiona McGregor about Indelible Ink

Fiona McGregor discusses the story of Indelible Ink

Other reviews of Indelible Ink

GoodreadsBook to the FutureMama Mia, Tony’s Reading List

* I received a copy of this novel from Scribe Publications for review purposes. My receiving this book for free in no way affected my ability to express my honest opinions about it.