This is the second book by Peri Hoskins featuring the character Vince Osborne, a suburban lawyer who has the feeling life is leaving him behind. Disillusioned with representing petty criminals, he chucks in his job and decides to go on a road trip. A journey to reconnect with who he is and what he should be doing with his life.
Vince drives back to the city, visiting old friends and haunts from his university days, before setting off. He bunks down with a friend of a friend to make a plan. He sorts out supplies, getting his car fitted with an LPG tank but leaving the petrol tank in place, realising that not every small town will have an LPG supply. There is an easy familiarity, as he slots back into old friendships before heading east to begin his journey, writing a journal along the way.
He starts off picking up hitchhikers, to break the monotony of the barren countryside. Each town/city changes, as does the accommodation available, but somehow, they all seem to merge. The only changing detail is the people he meets along the way as he makes small talk with staff and fellow travelers at the various places he stays. Some just drifting from one place to another. He starts to wind down and get into the zone.
Old mining towns with hardened characters that seem to always go with hard places: this is a journey of self-discovery for Vince. He applies for a job in one of the gold mines – hard, hard, physical work but one where he finds satisfaction.
At first I thought – oh hell, another one of “those books” where it just goes nowhere, but how wrong I was. This is a book that ended up even questioning my own life and where I was heading – how I could change the mundane into something a lot more exciting. As Vince discovers, dreams aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
by Peri Hoskins
Tane Kaha Publications