Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Spare Room

The Spare Room is a quick, engaging and insightful novel about the bonds and responsibilities of friendship in the face of death. Helen Garner is an exceptional writer, her spare prose so realistic and honest that I actually checked to be sure I was reading a novel, not a memoir. I have since learned that much of the book and the character Helen are based on her life experience. I enjoyed reading her work very much, finishing it in one day, captivated by her characters and the complicated emotional dynamics that unfold, particularly denial, anger and compassion. There are moments of discomfort, peace and heartache in this story, and much to think about when the book is finished. I felt the ending came too quickly, and would have preferred it lasted longer to provide more closure, but otherwise I highly recommend The Spare Room.

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