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  • Beautifully written snapshot of 1970s life in Melb

    This is Helen Garner's first novel, published in 1977. It's a beautifully written snapshot of 1970s life in Melbourne. Set against a backdrop of summer days spent scorching next to the local pool and cycling around town to see friends, this novel paints a picture of communal living and child rearing, casual drug use and bed hopping. The central character's relationship with her on/off lover is the main focus of the book. Their relationship is tainted by his addiction to drugs and hers to romantic ideals. Not a lot happens plot wise - this is more a study of wasted love, desperate needs and a woman waiting around for someone else to fulfil or prioritise her. The writing was tight and vivid. Some may say blunt or gritty, though I liked the directness.

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