‘A fresh and sparkling book that strikes deep notes as it flows along.’ Helen Garner
In the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick, a female narrator, who remains unnamed is trying to come to terms with the absence of Jack, the man she loves. In a bar she meets Bernice, a radio personality, in her late thirties and flirting with IVF. Finding a job as a gardener, she discovers that her co-worker, Mitali, has an unresolved mourning that attracts other deaths into its orbit. Later on, she befriends the resolutely mysterious bar owner, Sarah, and her daughter, Mary, who has, for potent (and as yet unrevealed) reasons, converted to Islam and donned a burqa.
The lives of these women are characterised by love and loss, and are woven together by their shared grieving at the senseless murder of Jill Meagher.
On Brunswick Ground traverses the world of longing, grief and personal loss with an assured and literary touch. It is a novel that is also heart-warming, and affirming. Catherine de Saint Phalle truly understands the surprising ways in which tragedy and loss can tighten the bonds of friendship and community.
‘Like the suburb it depicts, On Brunswick Ground teems with lives at once familiar and strange, all beautifully lit by the glint and warmth of Saint Phalle’s prose. Shadowed by local tragedy, we come to care for these characters as much as they care for each other; with wry humour and in unexpected ways.’ Roger Averill