Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Spare Room - Helen Garner

This was the Wednesday book club read for September. We had a bit of a contentious discussion because one of our members stated that he didn't think it had a plot, but didn't elaborate on it any further.

About the Book
Helen's friend, Nicola, comes to stay with her while she gets treatment for cancer. Nicola is in denial about how sick she is and how much hard work it is to take care of her. Helen also doesn't realise how much hard work it will be, or how frustrating. It is a book about the depth of friendship, but also realising that we can't always do things ourselves and that it's much easier when we have the support of others.

My Thoughts
This is the only book by Helen Garner I've read and I really enjoyed it. The writing is spare and I think that's what I love about the book. There is no unnecessary flowery language or description. The friendship between the two characters is touching. The way both characters deal with the idea of Nicola's dying was handled very well. My favourite scene is where Helen confronts Nicola about being in denial about the seriousness of her illness and the futility of the treatment she'd been receiving.

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