It was with a sigh of relief that I read the last page of The Spare Room by Helen Garner. I’d read about this book and when it was offered on LibraryThing’s Early Reviewers Programme I ticked the box, never thinking I would “snag” it, but I did. I was hesitant about reading it, because it sounded a tough subject – for three weeks Helen’s friend Nicola who is suffering from cancer, stays with her whilst she undergoes alternative therapy. Nicola refuses to accept that she is dying and Helen struggles to cope with the situation.
It’s not a book that I would say I enjoyed. It is a difficult book to read, not because of the style of writing, which is fluent, but because of the agonising descriptions of Nicola’s condition and the anguish and anger that hits Helen. But I’m glad I read it; it was nowhere nearly as bad as I imagined it would be and I will look out for more books by Helen Garner.