> Skip to content

Anyone can see the place where the children died. You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction of Colac. Late in August 2006, soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Robert Farquharson to stand trial before a jury on three charges of murder, I headed out that way on a Sunday morning, across the great volcanic plain.
On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father's Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner's obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.
In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience – all gathered to witness to the truth – players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.
This House of Grief is a heartbreaking and unputdownable book by one of Australia's most admired writers

Reviews

'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. And also customary with Garner's work, her words, and the boys' fate, will haunt us long after we've turned the last page.' Guardian

PRH, PRH

'This House of Grief is a magnificent book about the majesty of the law and the terrible matter of the human heart. It has at its centre a feeling of the engulfing powers of love and hate and the way any heart unlucky enough may kill the thing it loves and drown in an eternity of grief. 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.' Peter Craven, Weekend Australian

PRH, PRH

'Compassionate and dispassionate in equal measure, Helen Garner takes us into the courtroom and shows a melting-pot of venality. She writes with a profound understanding of human vulnerability, and of the subtle workings of love, memory and remorse.' Intelligent Life Magazine

PRH, PRH

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781925240689

    January 4, 2016

    Text

    288 pages

    RRP $23.99

    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

  • Trade Paperback

    9781922079206

    August 20, 2014

    Text

    288 pages

    RRP $23.99

    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
Cosmo Cosmolino: Text Classics
The Children's Bach
Honour & Other People's Children
The Spare Room
Monkey Grip

Recommendations

Green Is The New Black
Helter Skelter
The Stoccos
Mindhunter
A Scandal in Bohemia
Red Notice
All-American Murder
In Cold Blood
Mr Nice
Good Cop, Bad War
The Murder of Allison Baden-Clay
The 37th Parallel
Undercover
The Monster of Florence
The Tunnels
You Will Not Have My Hate
Sam and Chester
The Shepherd's Bush Murders
Lethal Force
Miracle