Libby Cutmore is a flash Black. She’s young, healthy, well-educated and working as head of the education program at the National Aboriginal Gallery in Canberra, a far cry from her stay-at-home-mum back in Moree still looking after three of Libby’s five brothers living at home.
But due to a string of failed relationships she is on a self-declared man-fast. No more men. Ever. Still, that doesn’t mean she can’t look, right? Anita Heiss’ latest novel, Paris Dreaming, is the second in her Dreaming series following a group of talented and charismatic young professional Aboriginal women in Canberra.
Libby has great taste in shoes but needs help in flirting, in fashion, and in French, so her tiddas (gal pals) suggest she take on a personal challenge by coordinating an exhibition of Aboriginal art at the MusÃ©e du Quai Branly in Paris. And while she’s there, maybe check out the men, too.
But Libby is determined to continue her man-fast on her trip and just absorb everything she can about living and working in Paris. She throws herself into her work, finding a gorgeous home-from-home apartment complete with surrogate parents, making solid friends among Museum and Embassy colleagues, inhaling the local cuisine and culture in markets and formal museum and gallery settings, and even finding time to mentor a Gypsy seamstress making a line of bags and skirts from recycled materials.
And the man-fast? Well, as you’d expect, it doesn’t last, but where it ends up is what makes for a great story. Libby’s experience touring and devouring everything Paris has to offer includes artwork, museums, cultural exhibits and pastries, cheese, chocolate and of course, romance .. it just made me want to go there and join in! This book is an appropriate remedy for a rainy bus ride to the city, any day of the week.
Available Now: Random House RRP $32.95