The first half of this bizarre, sometimes baffling and frequently brilliant experimental novel is set in 1982, when a young woman named Eliza arrives in Sydney from her home in rural Yass to take possession, on behalf of her ailing mother, of her late Aunt Dodge’s apartment. She discovers that a hitherto unknown cousin, Maxine, is already living there and the two agree to live off the inheritance by selling the apartment and its contents.
The family lawyer has misplaced the Dodge will, meaning that the aunt has died intestate and ‘letters of administration’ are required by the court. There follows a phantasmagorically convoluted navigation of the country’s inheritance and property laws that makes Jarndyce v Jarndyce seem a model of judicial celerity. In one