Most books I'm happy to read and go on to the next. Some few books that inspire the need for conversation, the need to get further in, to understand and to wonder. I read Plains of Promise as a workout for Alexis Wright's much bigger novel Carpenteria. I thought that short novel would prepare me. It has both enthused me and overwhelmed me. There is so much in Plains of Promise that I don't understand, so much that I wish I did. I imagine Carpenteria will be that times four. The blurb, while not false, seems misleading now that I've finished the book. It suggests that this is Mary's story and yet it is Ivy, her mother, whose story dominates.