JEAN HAR­LEY WAS HERE by Heather Tay­lor Johnson, UQP.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - FILM MAKER -

Jean Har­ley, wife, mother, col­league, best friend and, for her dog, owner. When she is knocked off her bi­cy­cle and run over by a van, ev­ery­one who loved her is given a voice to mourn. In­clud­ing the dog. It could be twee but Aus­tralian poet Heather Tay­lor Johnson makes sure it isn’t, bring­ing a poet’s eye to this story of what hap­pens when a beloved dies sud­denly. Friend­ships frac­ture; a hus­band falls into hope­less grief; an ac­ci­den­tal killer, the no-hoper driv­ing the van, re­shapes his life. The voices fo­cus first on the fall­out, then the post-shock set­tling, as the griev­ing adapt to life with­out Jean. Her life was no more ex­tra­or­di­nary than any­one else’s, but it’s a plea­sure to read about the life of some­one spe­cial to those who loved her.

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