15 April 2015


I'm a bloke and I read current affairs and the like, so attending a launch of Marion Halligan's latest novel by Carmel Bird was, well, novel. But I enjoyed the event and I am drawn to read the book. The book is Goodbye Sweetheart. Its plot is based on a bon vivant lawyer who dies suddenly and the discoveries made by his wife and ex-wives and lover and kids. MH is renowned for her detail of daily life - food and drink and the rest - although chapter headings suggest the mundane: "Helen comes home late" or "Barbara drinks the last of the wine". As Carmel said, while "surfaces of life [are] followed in detail ... a darker undertow works in the depth". As you'd imagine from the various families, these are "grand themes of sex and love and betrayal" dealing with "how to behave and to mourn". Marion's take is that she "writes about hard, difficult things without making the book hard and difficult". But at the end is a "delightful coincidence that suggests love and hope". Sounds a good read. MH is a renowned Canberra author. I met some literary friends there, but also (only half unexpectedly) a musician mate who happens to live next door to Marion. A novel's launch is a different thing from that of a political memoir or socio-political commentary. This was an interesting visit to a more literary and personal world.

Carmel Bird launched Goodbye Sweetheart, the latest novel by Marion Halligan, at Paperchain Bookshop.


Whispering Gums said...

I do hope you read it Eric ... Marion is a fantastic writer and a real local treasure. Nice to see you there though sorry I was distracted!

Anonymous said...

Sue, OK I will.