Saturday, July 13, 2024

Green Dot

Green Dot
Madeleine Gray
Allen and Unwin, 2023

The eponymous green dot of this novel has a very significant role in the relationship of the two central characters of this text, it being the green dot that tells others that you’re online when you’re on Instagram.

Hera, 20-something and untethered, takes a job early in this text as an online moderator for a major news organisation, where she meets Arthur, an older journalist with whom she quickly becomes infatuated. Set in Sydney, Hera has recently broken up with her girlfriend and moved in with her loving father, and one of the novel’s most appealing features is its portrayal of the relationship between the heroine and her supportive single dad.

Hera, an erudite, sophisticated and highly intelligent young woman, meditates frequently upon the nature of reality in this engaging novel, particularly in regard to the relationship that she would like to be having with the married Arthur, eventually coming to the conclusion that they are both trapped in a fantasy of what used to be as opposed to what never has been.

The style of the novel is very funny, but also very sad – whilst Hera is clearly looking for something to fill her loneliness and give her unfocused life meaning, her love for Arthur, is so far from what is going to make her truly happy that it is hard to stop from screaming at the page to get off Instagram and find something else to do with her life.

The story overall, and the original voice of Hera created by Madeleine Gray, is highly engaging – a very enjoyable tale well told.

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