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The Weekend

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  8,172 ratings  ·  946 reviews
#1 International Bestseller
Shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2020 * Longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award

"The Big Chill with a dash of Big Little Lies... Knife-sharp and deeply alive."--

"An insightful, poignant, and fiercely honest novel about female friendship and female aging."--Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published August 4th 2020 by Riverhead Books (first published October 15th 2019)
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Jessica You didn’t miss anything, the author was too bored of her own boring book to write an ending for any of the boring characters.
You didn’t miss anything, the author was too bored of her own boring book to write an ending for any of the boring characters.
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Jessica Whatever it was, it was a stupid way to end the book
Whatever it was, it was a stupid way to end the book

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,172 ratings  ·  946 reviews

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Firstly, this book is really depressing.

It's about old people, and as a 34 year-old who likes to complain about being old while secretly appreciating that I've still got a fairly long life ahead of me, this was a terrifying glimpse of a future I DO NOT WANT.

I'm gonna be straight up: getting old scares the crap out of me. But it scares me more to think that I could wind up like these old ladies, full of regrets and missed chances. Still waiting for my big break. Having forfeited true love. Wishin
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
Nat K
*** Shortlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize ***

”People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn’t true…”

Reading this book made me think that the loss of a friend isn't all beer & skittles as it's depicted in so many movies. The outpouring of love at the wake - always at a pub, usually Irish - friends getting all misty eyed like on New Year's Eve, arms flung around each other's shoulders. Tears, anecdotes, laughter. Toasts to a great friend, sorely missed. But then the tears dry,
Jul 05, 2020 marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edelweiss, fiction
dnf @20% - I'll just say this book was not for me at this time so I'm setting it aside for now.

* I received a digital copy via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Longlisted for the 2020 Stella Prize.

Buddy read 8 with Nat K.

Sylvie’s death has left Jude contemplating her own steady decline. She thinks that her frontal lobe is inevitably shrinking, she wonders what will happen if she dies in her sleep, in her bed.

Sylvie had been buried eleven months ago. They used to be a quartet, but Sylvie’s death has transformed them into a triumvirate. Jude is not even sure the three surviving members of the friendship can survive without Sylvie. Jude was a restaurateur
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
Jan 04, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 plot ...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. ...more
Jan 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
From the winner of the 2016 Stella Prize comes 'The Weekend', a tedious drama rife with clichés older than its walking-framed cast. When three caricatures and a heavy-handed canine metaphor come together in the wake of the novel's sole plot-point - a friend's death - they spend a weekend womansplaining the faults of their so-called friends. The story sizzles with mundane conflict - a dog coming indoors, a dog coming off its leash, a dog coming to the beach, stale bread - between characters who l ...more
Jan 15, 2020 marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
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%
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. ...more
Dale Harcombe
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 ga
Elyse  Walters
I should have loved this book. I like Charlotte Wood, as an author.
It was shortlisted for the 2020 Australian prime ministers literary award.
It’s endorsed by readers I respect.
The book cover alone, was a seductive draw.
.....this book didn’t ‘wow’ me. I liked it, enough, some parts more than others, but it’s not a book I’d rave about.
It’s being compared to ‘The Big Chill’....but for me, that’s a little bit of a stretch. The only similar theme was that old friends were reuniting over a
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
I got up to 37% and just couldn't read any more. It was depressing and dreary. Not a bit of humor and the characters were joyless. A big UGH for this one. ...more
Kylie H
Dec 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: made-me-cry, drama
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 self-
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. ...more
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
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
EDITED - 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 em ...more
Theresa Smith
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aww2019
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 t
Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's 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
Rosemary Atwell
Nov 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
‘Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.’

Why is there so much anger in this book? And self-indulgence and a relentlessly demanding sense of expectation? If this is how forty years of friendship looks, god help the enemies of these three women. To be fair, the last fifty pages are unexpectedly refreshing, but, sadly, too little and too late after what’s gone before. Book club readers, beware. Enter at your peril
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.
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 memories ar
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
So this was good. But that is all it was for me - not fantastic, not great, just a nice read. It's about 3 friends that come together over Christmas to clear out their friend's house after she has died. It is quite clear that it was only Sylvie that kept this group together. They are all quick to discover that they really don't like each other at all, are in fact dreading having to be together - it was only Sylvie that they wanted to be with. And this is the problem I had with this book - this r ...more
4.5 stars. I was completely engrossed by Charlotte Wood's short novel about three friends in their seventies who meet to clear out the home of a fourth mutual friend, now deceased.

Wood's razor-sharp descriptions of each woman's interior world, their reflections on aging and on their past lives, their biting judgments of their friends' actions combined with their willingness to overlook or excuse their own foibles, made for compelling reading. I devoured the book in one huge gulp and now look fo
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It’s not often I put down a book because the characters are so unlikeable, miserable and dull. But hey, here we are. This one doesn’t count towards my goal! I’ll pretend like it never happened
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
Laura Tee
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Too many coincidences. Too many white women. Too many self-indulgent reflections.

Wood’s writing is a pleasure to read, and despite writing tired old stereotypes (seriously, an erratic ex-academic, a washed-up actor, and the eternal mistress?!?!), she has been able to save these three women from toppling into total cliche.

But, for a book with so much potential, it lacks the insight or freshness of “The Natural Way of Things”. I was expecting an examination of female friendships and ageing, but
Jul 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  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!)
Deb Comerford
Nov 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
BORING! very disappointing after The Natural Way of Things. I managed to read until chapter 7 & then gave up.
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Stella Project: February - April 2020: The Weekend 2 22 Feb 18, 2020 02:16AM  

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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 Mil

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