My favourite novel
CHOOSING a favourite novel is like choosing a favourite child — Sophie’s Choice without the trauma. The treasured books of my childhood, the sweet melancholy of Tove Jansson’s Finn Family Moomintroll and the bucolic world of Laura Ingalls Wilder, are still dear to my heart.
Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters provided solace and escape during my destructive adolescence and their books remain fixtures on my shelves.
More recently, Favel Parrett’s beautiful Past the Shallows, Mette Jakobsen’s The Vanishing Act and the novels of Susan Johnson have staked a claim to permanent space on my shelves when so many others are returned to the library, or traded in at second-hand bookshops.
However, Helen Garner’s The Spare Room is the book I read again and again, finding something new to admire each time.
In characteristic style, Garner tackles the highly emotive subject of death and dying,