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Helen Garner’s third volume of diaries is an account of a woman fighting to hold on to a marriage that is disintegrating around her.
Living with a powerfully ambitious writer who is consumed by his work, and trying to find a place for her own spirit to thrive, she rails against the confines. At the same time she is desperate to find the truth in their relationship—and the truth of her own self.
This is a harrowing story, a portrait of the messy, painful, dark side of love lost, of betrayal and sadness and the sheer force of a woman’s anger. But it is also a story of resilience and strength, strewn with sharp insight, moments of joy and hope, the immutable ties of motherhood and the regenerative power of a room of one’s own.
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‘The ordinary in these diaries—the daily, the diurnal, the stumbled-upon, the breathing in and out—is turned into something else through the writer’s extraordinary craft.’
‘Helen Garner is one of the lords of language in our midst and something more. She has a poet’s ear, a painter’s eye and she understands profoundly and without self-pity the mystery of the tears in things.’
‘The spirituality of these diaries is worth a library of high-minded theology…Their acuity is ultimately healing. You will leave with the impression that you have not so much been looking at Garner’s life as at life itself.’