The spare room is prepared: a stack of fresh linen lies on the bed, flowers in a vase, all set up for the arrival of Helen’s friend Nicola. Although the pair have been friends for a long time, this upcoming trip isn’t just about catching up. Nicola has been living with cancer and her chosen treatment plan will be undertaken in Melbourne, not Nicola’s hometown of Sydney. But Helen, a Melbourne-dweller, has never experienced what it’s like to be a full-time carer and she soon realises she doesn’t know Nicola as well as she first thought.
A tale of friendship, commitment and care, The Spare Room is two women’s journey through the frightening world of terminal illness and the courage it takes from those suffering & the people surrounding them.
I really enjoyed the Melbourne-ness of this book. The streets were familiar to me, the authorial voice was familiar and that really added to my connection to this novel. The content is honest and upfront, but still very warm and I very much enjoyed Helen Garner‘s terrific style of storytelling.