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Helen prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola, who is flying down from Sydney for a three-week visit. But this is no ordinary visit—Nicola has advanced cancer. She is coming to Melbourne to receive treatment she believes will cure her. From the moment Nicola steps off the plane, Helen becomes her nurse, her protector, her guardian angel and her stony judge.
The Spare Room tells a story of compassion and rage as the two women—one sceptical, one stubbornly serene—negotiate their way through Nicola's gruelling treatments. Garner's dialogue is pitch perfect, her sense of pacing flawless as this novel draws to its terrible and transcendent finale.

Reviews

'This taut, elegant, funny, gorgeous work of art is Helen Garner's best book ever.' Peter Carey, Age'No one writes these reports from the suburban front line with quite the passion, the abrupt insights and kitchen table candour of Helen Garner. The Spare Room is a quietly devastating book, written with superbly refined ordinariness, on ageing, women's friendship and how to look death in the eye.' Monthly'The Spare Room is a beautifully human story, a compact little gem of empathy and understanding, shot through with humour and grace in a beautifully tactile package.' Herald Sun'Helen Garner is a great storyteller and the dialogue is perfection. This is no melodramatic tearjerker—it' a fascinating look at a very difficult and real situation.' NZ Women's Weekly

PRH, PRH

'No one writes these reports from the suburban front line with quite the passion, the abrupt insights and kitchen table candour of Helen Garner. The Spare Room is a quietly devastating book, written with superbly refined ordinariness, on ageing, women's friendship and how to look death in the eye.' Monthly

PRH, PRH

'The Spare Room is a beautifully human story, a compact little gem of empathy and understanding, shot through with humour and grace in a beautifully tactile package.' Herald Sun

PRH, PRH

'Helen Garner is a great storyteller and the dialogue is perfection. This is no melodramatic tearjerker—it' a fascinating look at a very difficult and real situation.' NZ Women's Weekly

PRH, PRH

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781921520280

    September 28, 2009

    Text

    208 pages

    RRP $23.95

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781921351396

    April 7, 2008

    Text

    208 pages

    RRP $23.95

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Helen Garner

Monkey Grip: Popular Penguins
Monkey Grip
The Children's Bach
Stories: The Collected Short Fiction
True Stories: The Collected Short Non-Fiction
Honour & Other People's Children: Text Classics
Stories: The Collected Short Fiction
True Stories: The Collected Short Non-Fiction
The Last Days of Chez Nous & Two Friends: Text Classics
Everywhere I Look
Regions of Thick-Ribbed Ice: Short Black 4
This House of Grief: The Story of a Murder Trial
Cosmo Cosmolino: Text Classics
The Children's Bach
Honour & Other People's Children
Monkey Grip

Recommendations

The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Midnight's Children
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Heart's Invisible Furies
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Girl on the Train
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
The Bear and The Nightingale
Breath
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
The Travelling Cat Chronicles
Sanctuary
On Chesil Beach
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home