At a glance, Lisa Walker’s Melt is classic romcom, a Bridget Jones for today’s thinking lady reader. Hippie chick from Nimbin, Summer Dawn Rain Wright, is trying to stuff her life into spreadsheets and city soullessness – all in the name of falling for the wrong man. Along comes a freak opportunity to take a work assignment in Antarctica and, suddenly, Mr Right appears – maybe.
Melt is so much more than romcom. Carefully layered beneath the quirky humour and the colourful, cartoonish bounce of Walker’s prose is a bittersweet, cleverly nuanced exploration of climate change – how we’ve failed to market it and how urgently we need to turn our minds to the task.
The satire of contemporary over-busy emptiness is sharp and playful at once. There are so many unforgettable one-liners in Melt, Walker has now, together with her three previous novels, established herself as a queen of the quip. From describing mediocre sex as “like finding a great parking spot” to declaring “climate change is boring”, Walker’s comic timing makes for many a laugh-out-loud moment.
But deeper still, Melt is a charming and disarming tale of appreciating what you’ve got before it’s gone – a sparkling story of love and wonder, of finding your place and the people with whom you can truly be yourself.