Released on 19 October 2017.

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The Idea of Perfection

Picador Classic

3.62 based on 2163 ratings & 198 reviews on

2001 Winner

Orange Prize for Fiction


With an introduction by Evie Wyld

The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort.

Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they're on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection.

In the media

A writer of extraordinary talent
New York Times Book Review
Mined throughout with little pockets of danger and depth
It's an outrageously entertaining book - witty, tender and full of a no-nonsense lyricism . . . by alerting us to novels this good, the [Orange] Prize more than justifies its existence
Daily Mail