It’s unusual to get halfway into a novel and still not be quite sure what it’s about – unlike life, where the halfway point might be the first time a glimmer of shape and meaning emerges. Although not a long book, The Life to Come gives a sense of sprawl and expansiveness suited to its Australian setting. It’s composed of discrete sections each introducing a new character and location, but they are all linked, and gradually an intricate and unexpected pattern emerges.
We begin with George, a novelist and academic rattling round the Sydney home of a dying relative. He eventually gets a housemate, a lacklustre former student and wannabe writer, Pippa, immediately identified as a bore and a pseud. She professes to adore animals, but still eats them, and