Our pick for Book Club this week is Helen Garner’s multi-award-winning and much beloved novel, The Spare Room. The Spare Room won the 2008 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, the 2008 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction and the 2009 Barbara Jefferis Award.
Helen lovingly prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola. She is coming to visit for three weeks, to receive treatment she believes will cure her cancer.
From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel and her stony judge.
The Spare Room tells a story of compassion, humour and rage. The two women—one sceptical, one stubbornly serene—negotiate an unmapped path through Nicola’s bizarre therapy, stumbling towards the novel’s terrible and transcendent finale.