Eyrie has got two main characters: Tom Keely and Perth. Keely is living on the top floor of a once modern apartment building, the eyrie. He spends his days there sleeping, drinking and apparently suffering from depression. He lost his job for an environmental NGO after saying something stupid – never defined – on television, his wife left him after having aborted her lover’s baby, things are not going well for Keely. Winton parallels this in his style: short sentences, nervous, agitated. That Winton can write beautifully crafted sentences he proves in those moments Keely is feeling better. His former neighbour, then a young girl being abused by her parents, happens to live on his floor with her grandchild Kai. Keely is drawn into their lives and starts to feel more and more responsible for the child. At the end he cannot avoid a criminal clash.
Perth is all present. We see the city through Keely’s eyes, which means that very often Perth is presented as nervous, too busy, too noisy, dirty and crowded. Again language parallels the state of mind of Keely. Too convincingly as far as I am concerned. Reading Eyrie made me nervous and irritated. It could be that Winton was aiming at this effect, the problem is that I was too often tempted to return the book to the library. I finished it because I know Winton can write beautifully and because I was also drawn into the life of Kai. His story saved Eyrie for me.