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This is one of the best non-fiction books I have ever read. It’s as good as In Cold Blood, which is not something I say at all lightly. It follows the murder trial of Rob Farquharson, recently and reluctantly separated from his wife, who one Father’s Day drives himself and his three young children into a dam. The children all drown. He gets out of the car and lives. Horrendous accident or deliberate murder? Helen Garner sits in court every day, befriends some of the protagonists, observes. She is a brilliant writer and not one word – not one comma – is out of place. Why this book wasn’t a massive bestseller in the UK – Farquharson is Australian, like Garner- is a total mystery.

Just one word of warning: I don’t think I could have hacked reading this when my children were very small, and I certainly couldn’t have read it when I was pregnant. I found it unbearable in places even now and kept having to put it down.

Here’s Helen Garner being wonderful about being old (safe to read).

 

 

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