The spare room by Helen Garner
Helen lovingly prepares the room for her friend Nicola who is coming to stay with her while she is having her three week treatment for cancer. Nicola believes that this Vitamin C treatment will cure her
Helen captures the different feelings one goes through when dealing with someone close to you who has cancer. The book is full of compassion, joy, grief and hate. At one stage Helen mentions that she wants to throw grenades at the Institute which claims to have cures for cancer. Helen is sceptical of treatments that play on people’s emotions.
This is a book to read. – it is only 195 pages but when you have finished it you feel tired and drained, the exact sentiments that Helen so articulately describes when caring for her friend in those three harrowing weeks. It is a story of tough love between two friends in the face of cancer and death.