Helen Garner’s This House of Grief, published on Wednesday, has received wonderful notices in the press.
‘This House of Grief is a magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart,’ says Peter Craven in the Australian. ‘If you read nothing else this year, read this story of the sorrow and pity of innocents drowned and the spectres and enigmas of guilt.’
The Guardian says ‘This House of Grief has all the trademark Helen Garner touches: harrowing scenes recorded without restraint or censorship; touching observations of characters’ weaknesses; wry moments of humour…her words, and the boys’ fate, will haunt us long after we’ve turned the last page.’
Helen Garner ‘weaves legal argument and social commentary into a compelling narrative that is a deeply moving rendering of grief and human behaviour,’ says the Newtown Review of Books.
‘Garner depicts a humanity that is universal, and universally flawed,’ says Veronica Sullivan in Kill Your Darlings. ‘With typically resolute ferocity, [she] refuses to allow Farquharson’s monstrousness to eclipse his wretched humanity.’
This House of Grief is a ‘readable, thought-provoking case study of our criminal justice system as viewed from the coalface,’ says Christopher Kremmer.
‘This is a gut-wrenching, tense study of a murder trial, brilliant in its precision and perception,’ says Belle Place at Readings.
‘It’s by no means enjoyable, reading about a father on trial for murdering his three children. But in the hands of Helen Garner, it’s meaningful and impossible to ignore,’ says Doug Wallen at Three Thousand. ‘She quietly—and in spare, dreamy prose—follows the events into philosophical questions that are all the more nagging for not providing easy answers.’