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ONE OF THE GUARDIAN‘S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21ST CENTURY
‘This House of Grief, in its restraint and control, bears comparison with In Cold Blood‘ KATE ATKINSON On the evening of Father’s Day, 2005, separated husband Robert Farquharson was driving his three young sons back to their mother’s house when the car veered off the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became a national obsession – a macabre parade of witnesses, family members, and the defendant himself, each forced to relive the unthinkable for an audience of millions. Helen Garner followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.
This House of Grief tells the definitive and deeply absorbing story of it all, from crash to final verdict. Through a panoply of perspectives, including Garner’s own as a member of the public, she captures the exacting procedure and brutal spectacle of Australia’s criminal justice system. The result is a richly textured portrait – of a man and his broken life, of a community wracked by tragedy, and of the long and torturous road to closure.
Brisk, candid, and never dismissive of its flawed subjects, This House of Grief is a masterwork of literary journalism and a true-crime classic, from one of Australia’s greatest writers.
A W&N Essential
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