One summer morning in 1970, Peter van Rijn, proprietor of a television and wireless shop, pronounces his Melbourne suburb one hundred years old. That same morning, Rita is awakened by a dream of her husband, yet it is years since Vic moved north. Their son, Michael, has left for the city, and is entering the awkward terrain of first love. As the suburb prepares to celebrate progress, Michael's friend Mulligan is commissioned to paint a mural of the area's history. But what vision of the past will his painting reveal?
Meanwhile, Rita's sometime friend Mrs Webster confronts the mystery of her husband's death. And Michael discovers that innocence can only be sustained for so long. THE TIME WE HAVE TAKEN is both a meditation on the rhythms of suburban life and a luminous exploration of public and private reckoning during a time of radical change.
'A writer worth cherishing. His prose is unfailingly assured, lyrical, poised' The Australian
'Moving and indelible in its evocation of the extraordinary in ordinary lives' Miles Franklin Literary Award Judges
Winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, 2008
Winner of The Commonwealth Writers Prize (South East Asia, Pacific region) 2008