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Opportunity by Charlotte Grimshaw

Opportunity (2007)

by Charlotte Grimshaw

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I was interested to read this collection of short stories as it was the winner of NZ Book Award for Fiction in 2008. I could relate to many of the stories by location alone i.e. Auckland, the city of my birth but I didn't like some or feel empathy for many of the characters.
I thought this an unusual choice by the judges, as the runner-up [Edwin and Mathilda] by [[Laurence Fearnley]] was a far more enjoyable substantial tale. I note the People's Choice for that year was [The Blue] by [[Mary McCallum]], which sadly awaits my attention. ( )
  HelenBaker | Oct 6, 2013 |
I really liked it but would have enjoyed more connections between the stories. ( )
  julianne.pask | Mar 15, 2009 |
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Opportunity and Singularity by Charlotte Grimshaw (both Cape). I read Grimshaw for the first time this year. She is a master with mystery, very contemporary and astute. These two books take the form of linked stories. They are elliptical, atmospheric and compelling in the way a good crime novel should be. There are complex love affairs, undercover detectives, doctors, adoptions, bad stepmothers and lost children. Her language is relaxed, spare and perfect.
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And as one of the old playwrights said, what was virtue compared to an opportunity? Frank Sargeson, En Route
For Conrad, Madeleine and Leo
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There were red swirls.
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A man confronts death after an operation, a devout Christian encounters a man who hurt her long ago, a secretary uncovers her boss's secret shame. And in a house in Auckland an elderly woman is writing the last book of her life, one which, she says, contains all her crimes. How are the characters connected and who is writing the stories?

Each of these astute stories is an inspection of motive, rich in vivid insight into a diverse range of lives. Together, they form a unified whole. Opportunity is a book about storytelling, about generosity and opportunism;above all it is a celebration of the subtleties of human impulse, of what Katherine Mansfield called the LIFE of life.
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