Rich in detail that perfectly captures the essence of life during the 1990’s in Australia, when hard times were felt by many in all walks of life, with the people hit hardest, the marginalised. Chasing the McCubbin delves into the world of second hand trading and the disparate characters that make the very abstract nature of world of recycled goods all clad in the never ending hope that one day they will find the real thing; perhaps even a McCubbin.
Ron is growing older and without his beloved wife by his side he is finding he collecting of goods from garage sales, evictions and the like increasingly difficult. Finding his way about the streets is challenging and there are days when he wonders why he still goes out collecting. Is it the love of the craft, because that is what it is, or the hidden hope that one day, he may find a true gem at a give-away price?
Joseph is a seriously trouble 19 year old, down on his luck, in deep trauma following serious family events based in family violence. His mother knows Ron slightly and asks him he if he can use a hand; Ron agrees reluctantly. Joseph is offered the opportunity to earn some much needed money and also reluctantly, teams up with Ron.
Together they make an unlikely pair; an elderly gent with all the knowledge about the world of second hand goods, and a traumatised young man with dreams of his own, hopeless dreams he believes, but dreams of a very different future.
As the pages turn the characters of these unlikely friends establishes itself beautifully with their sadness a reality, the angst factual, the respect that develops heart-warming and the tragedy of life all too real, portrayed with a gentle use of words.
As a debut novel Chasing the McCubbin is an absolutely beautiful read, but one that needs to be read at absolutely the right time, to be able to totally absorb the true beauty of the work that unfolds. Authentic, unusual and interestingly, redolent of times in which we currently live.