17 June 2009

The Spare Room.

The extreme basics: Nicola has cancer and has gone to stay in Melbourne with her dear friend Helen, while she undergoes some (badly chosen) treatments.
I don't really know what I was really hoping to see happen in The Spare Room by Helen Garner, but it was definitely not what I was expecting. I thought it would be a little more dramatic and sad, but it wasn't. I had this overlook on the book because I didn't read any of the blurbs before I actually started reading it. (Never again will I do that.)
Anyhoo, this was an okay little story. On the inside of the dust-jacket it says: An unforgettable novel - gripping, moving, and unexpectedly funny - about the distance a friendship must travel, and the depths it must plumb, when confronted by the threat of death. I hardly found it any of these things. Not even all that moving, because I felt it was too short. I didn't feel like there was enough there about Helen and Nicola's friendship for me to really understand their bond and why Nicola chose to stay with Helen really, during those ridiculous treatments she was getting. I could see all the points and such the author was trying to make, but I didn't really feel them. A nicer point to the book is the writing style, I liked it, and there didn't seem to be any fluffy filler either. I felt bad for Helen and Nicola, but there wasn't enough for me to care to carry their story with me for however long after I'd finished reading. I would've liked to see more character development, and less of Helen's "woe is me" on taking care of Nicola. I realize the responsibility and weight she must have felt but my goodness, enough is enough. Why did she even take on the job in the first place...?
That's all I really have to say on this book.

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