Tahiti backdrop for latest memoir will star at Longweekend

Author Sarah Turnbull. contributed

ELEVEN years after Sarah Turnbull, a young Australian woman, went to France, fell in love and wrote a story about her life there, she has delighted the world with another memoir.

Her previous book, Almost French, is a global best seller and following the formula that won her thousands of fans, Sarah has again used her adventurous life as the subject for her latest book, All Good Things.

This time Sarah's story tells of leaving Paris for Tahiti after her lawyer husband Frederic accepts a position on the island.

Rich with a series of interwoven themes, the narrative searches through the meanings of islands, paradise, artistic pursuits, post

colonialism and IVF treatments and finally motherhood.

"It is a very different book to Almost French," Sarah said.

"The structure is much more complex in this book.

"I just felt that Matisse, longing for a child, living on an island, the special nature of paradise all belonged together - so that's what I did," she said.

A reading from All Good Things summons you to agree with her premise.

While Sarah's daily life on the island of Mo'orea begins with her swims at the lagoon in front of her home and ends in much the same place and pace, her considered and colourful prose imbues ordinary occurrences - as a dinner party, a boat trip, a sunset - with the pulsating vigour of island life. She wields her pen like an archaeologist's tool sifting through the top layers seeking the treasure below.

And in All Good Things, the "archaeologist" in Sarah achieves successful digs.

Her dive through the Tumakohua Pass is a memorable read.

Sarah's husband Frederic is an integral part of the story.

While she said her story

telling relied on diary jottings, which were often more mundane than memorable and her own recollection, it was often up to her husband to provide the final memory jolt.

"Memory is a slippery thing," she said

"But Frederic and I discussed it a lot and his vivid recollections were invaluable," Sarah said.


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