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The Weekend

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  1,894 ratings  ·  263 reviews
People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn't true. The graveyard, the stony dirt - that's what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie's death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.

Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Allen & Unwin
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  1,894 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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In The Weekend , three 70-something women come together over Christmas to clean out the beach house of their recently deceased friend. Tensions rise, secrets bubble to the surface, things get angsty (so just a typical Chrissy really).

Wood really nails the group’s dynamics after the loss of their linchpin member. It’s a particularly rich vein to explore, the kind of relationships that evolve between friends over four decades, and the events that cause them to fracture. There are some wonderful,
Jaclyn Crupi
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three friends spend the weekend clearing out the beach house of their dear deceased friend Sylvie. And oh how I loved these women (and that poor dog). This book will appear ‘lighter’ and ‘easier’ than Wood’s previous novel The Natural Way of Things but that’s misleading. Wood has packed the very fabric and tenderness/cruelty of life and female friendship into this slight novel and I laughed and cried my way through it. I gravitate to books like this and when I come across something this good it ...more
Dale Harcombe
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
Three older women with a long-standing friendship come together over Christmas at the old beach house belonging to Sylvie, who has died. Sylvie was the fourth friend in this group. But without Sylvie there, the friendship appears strained and fragile. All of these women have had substantial careers. Jude as a famous restauranteur, Wendy an academic and Adele as an acclaimed actress. Now though Adele is finding work is non-existent for an older actress. This time as they
Michael Livingston
Wood is a wonderful writer and this is a short, sharp look at women's lives with a very different atmosphere to The Natural Way of Things. It tackles friendship, grief, loneliness and aging and is insightful, funny and sometimes cruel. A friend noted that it would make a good play, and I think that's bang on - it's all dialogue and set pieces and the three main characters would work perfectly on the stage.
Kylie H
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, made-me-cry
This book is a snap shot insight into the lives of Adele, Wendy and Jude. Three friends who have gathered at Christmas to pack up the beach house of their deceased friend Sylvie. The three friends are now all in the seventies and their insecurities with themselves and each other quickly surface.
This is not a warm and fuzzy gathering, this is a book that exposes their physical and mental weaknesses warts and all.
Adele is a 'has-been' actress who does not appear to be able to switch off the
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
In the days before Christmas, three women in their 70s - friends for more than four decades - meet at their recently deceased friend's house by the beach, to make it ready for sale. There is Jude, a tall, poised, secretive, authoritative, former restaurateur. Wendy, the compassionate, once striking but now quite large and frumpy, famous intellectual. Finally we have Adele, a childlike, well-preserved, acclaimed actress who hasn't been offered any work in over a year. An unwelcome addition to the ...more
Lesley Moseley
Nov 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 6-stars
Oh I would give this quick read 6 stars, if I could. So topical for me at 73. Reminded me of being in my 40's and finding Fay Weldon showed me how to be that, then. Not a wasted word, totally cinematic from start to finish. I KNOW these people.. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Jan 15, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish
My DNF streak continues with another highly anticipated release that I am just not clicking with.

I expected something literary but so far it's a lot of uninteresting history about a recently deceased Sylvie and people going through her house talking about what is in her cupboards. WTF?

DNF 37%
Gloria Arthur
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: the-bookshelf
The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

3.5 Stars

A character driven story of getting older, death, friendships and hidden betrayals

Sylvie has been buried for eleven months. They were a group of four elderly lifelong friends now they are three. Their beloved Sylvie’s death has created a shifting distance between them.

The three remaining women find themselves gathered together for the weekend with the chore of clearing out Sylvie’s holiday house at Bittoes where they used to holiday together. There is a
Renee Hermansen
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Allen&Unwin I got to enjoy this book as an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Three ( seventy something) friends lost their friend and are together cleaning out her house and belongings. Jude, Adele and Wendy are forced to work though this time as well as face their own personal challenges. Such different women, with such different backgrounds and life journeys, without their friend Sylvie to keep the peace find it a struggle. Secrets are shared, stories are told and many
I've just spent a weekend with these ladies and I think I've fallen a bit in love with each of them through each of their turmoils.
The writing perfectly captures the shifting dynamics of long-time friendships between a trio of women in their early '70s, as they get together for a weekend at Christmas, to tidy out their beloved deceased friends holiday house at a Northern Sydney beach.
These women have all done a lot of living and know some of each others secrets better than they know their own.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gutting, funny, beautiful, and affirming all at once. I felt I was in extremely skilled hands reading this, and I can’t wait for more people to read it when it comes out. I’d never read a story about what female friendship/experience is like in one’s 70s until now. Wendy, Jude and Adele (and sweet old anxious Finn) feel so real to me and will stay in my heart for a long time!

(Review based on advance reading copy!)
Theresa Smith
If you are going into this one because you liked The Natural Way of Things, you need to know that The Weekend is entirely different, with one exception: the brilliant writing.

‘This was something nobody talked about: how death could make you petty. And how you had to find a new arrangement among your friends, shuffling around the gap of the lost one, all of you suddenly mystified by how to be with one another.’

This is a novel about female friendship that has been coloured by grief, and although
Oct 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three women and their decades long friendship spend a weekend clearing out the house of their deceased friend, and all the tensions which have strained over the years are tested. A delightful read with a powerful climax.
Cassie Hamer
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't want this book to end - a stunning portrait of friendship, ageing and the confronting realities of death. The kind of novel where I will worry for months to come about how Jude, Wendy and Adele are getting on.
*thank you to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book*
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Charlotte Wood's The Natural Way of Things, released in 2015. At the time I suspected the book - which I took fairly literally - was some great metaphor I just didn't quite understand and it wasn't until later I noticed others' reviews labelling it dystopian fiction and I realised I'd been right.

I loved Wood's writing, which I thought exquisite. I missed her latest release, The Weekend, when it came out but thankfully won a copy recently and probably (now) need to add it
Jaclyn (sixminutesforme)

A highly anticipated read for me, the promise of seeing a group of older women and their friendship represented in literature had me sold!

This story follows three women coming together over a weekend to clean up the home of their recently deceased friend, the fourth in their friendship group. In a deep dive into each of their characters, we follow an examination of their complex relationships - with each other, with their identity over their lives, and with children or partners or others in
Rachael (shereadsshenoms)
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: auslit
A thoughtful and quiet musing on friendship, ageing, grief, loneliness, and the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us. Jude, Wendy and Adele are sometimes cruel in their assessments of each other, frustrating in their inability to express their true feelings to each other, and utterly relatable to me as a result, ha!

The Weekend is very different from The Natural Way of Things, so if that's your only experience with Wood's writing check your expectations at the door. These
Leoni Graham
I started this book with trepidation. I really disliked The Natural Way of Things and the blurb to this novel didn't appeal either. There seems to be a particular type of novel that is concerned with the intense introspection of every thought/feeling/word that the characters have whilst the action/events are very mundane - think 'Normal People' by Sally Rooney (uugh). The Weekend falls into this category and I'm just not into it. I find it almost disingenuous to ascribe the flurry of ...more
Cass Moriarty
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlotte Wood’s much anticipated next novel, The Weekend (Allen and Unwin 2019) in many ways could not be more dissimilar to her previous award-winning book The Natural Way of Things. While that story was bleak, angry and desperate, The Weekend is gentle, contained and thoughtful. But what they have in common is Wood’s extraordinary literary style, so reminiscent of Helen Garner, that manages to convey a simple story in accessible and plain language, detailing the minutiae of daily life with a ...more
I enjoyed it, especially the descriptions, I felt like I was there with them. I didn't really like the characters or the way they treated each other. This book was great for book group discussions this afternoon.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
An easy read about very deep subject matter - getting old, death, love, family, friendships and what happens to them when the common bond is gone.
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the Natural Way of Things, the winner of the Stella Prize in 2016, so I was excited to read this. I would describe this one as contemporary fiction and it explorestherelationship of three ladies afterthedeath of one of their dear friends in their friendship circle, Sylvie. Unfortunately I just didn't connect withthecharacters in this one and I am finding more and more that contemporary fiction can really be hit or miss for me, depending upon the topics involved. What I did enjoy ...more
Kate Downey
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wept!
Thank you, Charlotte Wood, for a masterpiece about the human heart. Imagine three friends in their seventies, coming together after the loss of one of their own, the missing fourth. Wood presents us with three very different women who know each other so well that their faults are as annoying as they are accepted, their virtues as celebrated as they are deeply touching. How these three women negotiate their vacillating emotions over a weekend as they clear out the summer home of their dear
Sharah McConville
3.5 Stars. The Weekend is a story about Jude, Wendy and Adele. The three friends, in their 70's, come together for a weekend to clear out the beach house of their friend Sylvie, who recently passed away. With Sylvie no longer there, the dynamics of the group has changed. The women struggle to get along and Wendy's old dog Finn causes problems. This was a sad story about death, grief, secrets and friendship. Thanks to Allen & Unwin for my ARC.
Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020
This novel explores how the death of a fourth friend impacts the lives and friendships of three remaining older women. I found it to be a difficult read, but not how you might think. I could not summon the ability to care at all and was immensely bored; it was impossible to identify with the two-dimensional stereotypes (slovenly academic, washed-up actress and someone who seemed to be so wholly defined by the fact they are a mistress) and even more difficult to try to retain interest in the ...more
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brutal, honest, tender & I am not sure about the ending as up until then ... read for yourself. Charlotte Wood at the peak of her powers.
Michelle Bee
Dec 30, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Don't waste your time reading this book. Worst book I've read for 2019. I don't understand why this book was so hyped up. So much rubbish that made no sense, boring characters that obviously had nothing in common. A poor dog that should be dead. It was just a boring read, thank goodness it was short.
Carolyn Miles
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book! It will be an interesting one to discuss with book club because I suspect opinions were divided and not many of us were fans of Wood’s previous book The Natural Way of Things. This was quite a different book although it maintained an otherworldly, almost fantasy-type quality. There were interesting, insightful and frankly terrifying themes of aging and friendship dynamics. While the characters were fairly outlandish with odd circumstances I was happy to go along with the ...more
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The Australian newspaper has described Charlotte Wood as "one of our most original and provocative writers.”

She is the author of five novels and a book of non-fiction. Her latest novel, The Natural Way of Things, won the 2016 Indie Book of the Year and Indie Fiction Book of the Year prizes, was shortlisted for the Stella Prize and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award, and longlisted for the
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