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Top 40 Book Club : December 2008
The Time we Have Taken STEVEN CARROLL WINNER OF THE 2008 COMMONWEALTH WRITERS' PRIZE One Melbourne suburban morning in summer 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of the television and wireless shop, realises that his suburb is 100 years old. He contacts the mayor, who assembles a committee, and celebrations are eagerly planned. A few streets away, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband's snores. It is years since Vic moved north, and their son, Michael, too, has moved on. Yet Rita still stubbornly stays in the old street, unable to imagine leaving the house she has tended so lovingly for so long. As these lives entwine, and the committee commissions a mural and prepares to commemorate progress, history, and change, is heading straight for them. The Time We Have Taken explores a society teetering on the edge of radical change. 9