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Summary

Helen lovingly prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola. She is coming to visit for three weeks, to receive treatment she believes will cure her cancer.

From the moment Nicola staggers off the plane, gaunt and hoarse but still somehow grand, Helen becomes her nurse, her guardian angel and her stony judge.

The Spare Room tells a story of compassion, humour and rage. The two women - one skeptical, one stubbornly serene - negotiate an unmapped path through Nicola's bizarre therapy, stumbling towards the novel's terrible and transcendent finale.

©2008 Helen Garner (P)2008 Bolinda Publishing

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  • Carol
  • 20-04-12

I liked this.

This wasn't great literature, but it was a good book. Pretty well written and the narration was pleasant. It's the story of a woman who lets her friend stay in her spare room while she undergoes some alternative cancer treatment. The patient is full of hope but the friend is far more realistic. The story isn't sad, but it is at times quite raw. You could feel the frailness and strengths in both women.