Hardly Beach Weather

by Bernard Cohen

snowdome cover

Maria is travelling lightly. This means she is bringing the same amount of stuff as usual, but is in a relentless good mood. I am travelling heavily. The contrast is the story of my relationship with Maria: I set out with good intentions, and she ruins everything.

Jack drives his ex-girlfriend 1400 kilometres from Sydney to Adelaide, where she is to meet up with her new boyfriend.

Along the way they are assaulted by stories of love and heartbreak told by strangers in every country town, by shopkeepers, drinkers, hitchhikers; these are tales which bust through motel walls, interrupt the radio cricket and endlessly remind Jack of his and Maria's failures and shortcomings.

Despite all evidence, Jack maintains hope.

“This is a novel that deserves to be widely read. Cohen's exploration of Jack and Maria is tender, at times poignant, and non-judgmental. We are reminded of our own frailties in the changes and chances of this fleeting world. They grow on the journey and so do we.” — (Melbourne) Age