Troppo Madelaine Dickie (Fremantle Press, 2016)
I had the pleasure of meeting Madeline Dickie at the TAG Hungerford Award ceremony in March last year. It turns out she’s a good friend of a school friend of mine. She was announced as the winner that night and I’ve been looking forward to her novel coming out since.
Troppo’s first person narrator is Penny, an Australian in her early twenties who’s returned to Indonesia escaping the boredom of her career-focused older boyfriend, Josh, and the sterility of life in Perth. She lives for surfing, adventure, and the excitement of new people. “Risk,” Penny writes, “always make things sharper, throws into contrast the highs and lows, gives clarity. As a surfer, I know this, I’ve lived this. Living in Perth, like a sleepwalker, I’ve missed this.” Penny is drawn to a new man and is torn between her attraction to him and her loyalty to Josh. At the same time, she’s about to begin a new job at a resort run by Shane, an expat with a reputation as a psycho whose business is the focal point of growing tension between the “bules” and the locals. Continue reading