Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living, by Carrie Tiffany

Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living
1. Contribute to society for the achievement of mutual benefit.
2. The only true foundation is a fact.
3. Keep up-to-date.
4. Avoid mawkish consideration of history and religion.
5. Keep the mind flexible through the development and testing of new hypotheses.

Robert Pettergree is a man with an unusual taste for soil. A scientist and soil sampler, he believes the key to success in farming and every other aspect of life is science. He formulates principles for scientific living, which he follows fervently. When he meets Jean, he expects her to follow them too.

Jean has grown up an orphan and trained in home economics. She meets Robert when they are employed together on the ‘Better Farming Train’ which tours the countryside teaching farmers better practises. When Robert proposes, Jean agrees, and soon the pair are making a go at farming in the Mallee, where they try to put Robert’s scientific principles into practise. It seems though, that there are some things for which science has no answers.

Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living is a powerfully haunting novel. Set in the period between the two worlds, in a community struggling through the depression and drought, this is a gripping first novel from a new Australian talent.

Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living, by Carrie Tiffany
Picador, 2005