Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Trigger warning: miscarriage and death of a child.

One thing that I have observed in my counselling work is that the grief associated with the death of a child is unfathomable, and that it changes families (for generations) in a way that is also unfathomable.

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is a deeply tragic story, which examines the yearning and grief experienced by Yejide and her husband, Akin.

I was not strong enough to love when I could lose again, so I held her loosely, with little hope, sure that somehow she too would manage to slip from my grasp. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I’ve had so much fun over the last two weeks – Home, I’m Darling (the sets! The costumes!); a long lunch at Moondog (I can highly recommend the avocado dip paired with a Moondog pale ale); Pseudo Echo, Rick Astley, and a-ha in concert at Rockford Winery (a-ha had the top billing but really, it was all Rick), and… Continue reading

Melbourne Writers Festival 2019 – the first bit

Can you see Tayari Jones in the pic above? She looks tiny but I had to show off the magnificent Capitol Theatre, one of the venues for this year’s Melbourne Writers Festival.

I managed four sessions on my first Festival day. The highlights: Continue reading

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

Sometimes the most frightening books aren’t found on the ‘thriller’ shelf. Such is the case with Gwendoline Riley’s First Love.

Neve, the narrator, tells the story of her relationships – with her mother and father; with Michael, the man she was involved with in her youth; and with her husband, Edwyn. Each relationship is fraught, each abusive in a different way. Moving back and forth in time, Neve recalls particular moments in each relationship, and the story builds to a dark and unnerving end.

Finding out what you already know. Repeatingly. That’s not sane, is it? And while he might have said that this was how he was, for me it continued to be frightening, panic-making, to hear the low, pleading sounds I’d started making, whenever he was sharp with me. Continue reading

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

01. I was waiting for the little cheesy-pineapple ones Madame Bibi, and I was rewarded. Abigail’s Party was brilliant.

02. Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist – I haven’t read any but own half (the Batuman, Shamsie and Ward), so that’s a start. Continue reading