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The Spare Room by Helen Garner
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The Spare Room (2008)

by Helen Garner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8558616,375 (3.88)144
"In this short and powerful novel - her first work of fiction for fifteen years - one of Australia's bestselling and most admired writers tells an extraordinary story about two women. Helen lives in Melbourne, and her friend Nicola flies down from Sydney for a three-week visit. She will sleep in Helen's house, in her lovingly prepared spare room. This is no ordinary visit. Nicola has advanced cancer and is seeking alternative treatment from a clinic in Helen's city. From the moment Nicola steps off the plane, gaunt, staggering like a crone, her voice hoarse but still with something grand about her, Helen becomes her nurse, her protector, her guardian angel and her stony judge."--Provided by publisher.… (more)
  1. 00
    Suddenly by Bonnie Burnard (kathrynnd)
    kathrynnd: Both books are about women, friendship, and cancer.
  2. 00
    Undressing The Moon by T. Greenwood (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: The value of a friend when diagnosed with cancer.
  3. 01
    My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Spare Room by Helen Garner may be paired with The Household Guide to Dying by Debra Adelide or My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult.
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» See also 144 mentions

English (81)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
A friend, dying of cancer, comes to stay. That's no easy topic to write about, and when the friend is simply a pushover for any 'alternative' treatments the scene is set for a struggle.

Cry, laugh - yes, laugh - and enjoy this sensitively handled look at death, friends dying, cancer and hope. ( )
  p.d.r.lindsay | Dec 10, 2018 |
This is a short but thought-provoking novel. If you were sick, would you impose on a friend to care for you? If you're that friend, how much inconvenience are you willing to accept to take care of that person? What do you do when they seem ungrateful or when they don't see the toll that caring for them is taking on you? ( )
  ReadMeAnother | Oct 4, 2018 |
A beautiful articulation of an emotionally harrowing experience. I devoured it. Full review to come. ( )
  polyreaderamy | Jun 11, 2018 |
I dashed throught this succinct, moving, bitter-sweet story of sharing a ahouse with a dying friend. I cherished the insights and gasped at some of the piercing truths. Garner is as ever wonderful. ( )
  ClareRhoden | May 1, 2018 |
This was a strange book that I couldn't really wrap my head around. What was it? Was it pain at looking after a friend who was dying, or pain that she was dying? ( )
  Soulmuser | May 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
One sweltering summer day, Helen Garner joined mourners at the funeral of a former member of a performing troupe whose lives she had chronicled in her 1977 debut novel Monkey Grip, that tale of smack habits, communal houses and plenty of lustful sex. When the simple pine coffin was lowered to its resting place by men who took turns shovelling earth in keeping with Jewish ritual, "Helen pushed right to the front, to the lip of the grave, and got out her notebook and started to write," recalls theatre director Peter King. `Some people thought, `Oh my God.'"
 

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Helen Garnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Falkner, GerhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ferrer, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matocza, NoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Solum, KristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Versluys, MarijkeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vezzoli, DelfinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It is a privilege to prepare the place where someone else will sleep.
-- Elizabeth Jolley
Dedication
First words
First, in my spare room, I swivelled the bed on to a north-south axis.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Average: (3.88)
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Canongate Books

2 editions of this book were published by Canongate Books.

Editions: 1847672655, 1847672671

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 192135139X, 1921520280

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