pinknantucket's Reviews > The Spare Room

The Spare Room by Helen Garner
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Mar 29, 2012

really liked it
Read in March, 2012

Picked it up one evening (at least a year after I bought it?) and didn't put it down until I finished. (It's a short book, so that wasn't too hard). A tough subject, maybe don't read it if you're feeling fragile. An old friend of the narrator (which I presumed was Helen herself, it's marked as fiction but it feels very real) comes to stay for a few weeks, to undergo some dodgy alternative cancer therapy. The narrator grapples with various conflicting feelings - love for her friend, resentment for the carer's role into which she is thrust, anger at the dodgy cancer clinic, anger at her friend for denying the severity of her illness and so on.

I've only read one other Helen Garner book, so this impression is from a small sample size, but I am struck by her readiness to explore her own less charitable and difficult emotions - we all have them, it's rare that people tackle them so directly. (Maybe it's just the books I read). I like it.
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