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The Mint Lawn

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  96 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
North Coast, New South Wales. Clementine is twenty-five and still living in the place where she grew up, rooted there by memories and her own inability to make changes until she has understood her past.

That past is dominated by memories of her mother, and her mother's attempts to dramatise and enrich small-town life and the perceptions of her three, clever, receptive daugh
Paperback, 298 pages
Published 1991 by Allen & Unwin
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Although the writing here is very good, and the author's attention to detail noteworthy, I found this story was a bit too unrelentingly intense to be valued in any particular sense.
The air of desolation throughout doesn't let up and [for me] started to become oppressive by the middle to end of the felt too uncomfortably like eavesdropping on a story I didn't want to hear, but now I'd heard it I couldn't "unhear" it, and had to keep listening.
Many parts of it made me cringe, and many pa
The Mint Lawn is essentially one woman’s tale — of her disappointing marriage to an older man, and her complicated but loving relationship with her mother, killed before her time in a car accident, over whom she is continuing to grieve. Clementine is 25 and has never left the town on the northern NSW coast where she was born, raised and educated. She’s trapped in a marriage with quirky old Hugh, the man who was once her music teacher, and is desperate to escape — to live a more adventurous and p ...more
Yvette Adams
Jan 04, 2015 Yvette Adams rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was keen to read this because it's set in my home town of Grafton, and the author is the ex-wife of one of my high school teachers (who one of the book's characters is based on). I loved the references to Grafton (even though it's not named) but I hated the rest of the book! My mum wanted to borrow the book because of its setting, but she only got a few pages into it before realising she couldn't get any further.
Jun 16, 2014 Kimberley rated it it was amazing
Twenty years on, The Mint Lawn is as extraordinary as ever.
Denise Rawling
Nov 26, 2014 Denise Rawling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a mix- tough but so tender, nostalgic but never sentimental, painful clarity and courage not to turn away from harsh truth but never heartless. Sometimes a difficult and intense read but impossible not to come back. Richly evocative of a time and place and an emotional landscape seen with an unflinching eye and delivered with a incandescent skill.
Jane Thomas
Sep 24, 2013 Jane Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mint Lawn is bursting at the seams with the intensity of childhood, family and small town life. For me there were echoes of The Man Who Loved Children in the unconventional restless mother and feeling of being under an ever-critical microscope. Foals Bread lead me to The Mint Lawn and I am in awe of Gillian Mears' ability as a writer.
Apr 08, 2014 Nic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, australia, female
Oh dear. Brilliant but so brutally honest about the fallibility of human nature and the damage caused to others as we try to realise our dreams.
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Gillian Mears was an Australian short story writer and novelist.
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