Edith Devine believes that world events influence what kind of day she will have.
She rejoices when Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human to orbit the earth and feels it bodes well for the new house into which she is moving with her husband and two teenage daughters.
When the next traveller in space is a woman, Edith uses it to try to persuade her neighbour Frankie that she should take up an offer of work as a model.
This is happening in Australia in the early '60s, when most married women stayed home to look after the children and prepare their house so that their husband could come home to peace and neatness.
Edith eventually persuades Frankie to take up work in the city and they organise all kinds of subterfuges so that neither husband knows what is going on.
Edith and her husband Charlie, both from Irish families, are devout, Catholics - holy pictures and crucifixes in every room, dress for Sunday Mass, sprinkle holy water before leaving the house. This is the pre-pill era and she has had a number of miscarriages.
Upon one of these, she is near death, and promises God that if she survives she will discontinue her driving lessons with Frankie. She keeps her part of that bargain, only going back to learning after clearing it with the priest.
She is in her mid-40s when she becomes pregnant again, praying that the birth of the baby will coincide with the walk on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. I give nothing away when I say that like most people who read this lovely book, I wish the author had found a different ending.
It is not just the action that is set in the '60s, the writing is also from those times.
There are no words that you would avoid using in polite company; at one stage, Edith says that something was "a bloody shame" and then berates herself for her vulgarity.
Here is the only sex scene in the book: "After they got into bed, Charlie made advances and, although she suspected her husband's invigoration was motivated less by her wifely allure than by the honey-coloured bikini that had adorned Mr Bond's sidekick, Edith responded affectionately." Sally Rooney, eat your heart out.
I feel I know the people in this story, their concerns and their small victories.
They are from an innocent time. The man went out to work, while the woman stayed home and made sure there was no dust on the light bulbs and that the sheets and pillowcases and even her husband's under-things were neatly ironed.
Though it is the story of the power of friendships, particularly female friendships, it would be wrong to describe it as a women's book.
By turns funny and serious, the telling is as cautious as the time it describes. A story of innocence told beautifully.
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