Book - 2020
"For nearly four decades, lifelong friends Jude, Wendy, Adele, and Sylvie have seen each other through romances, child-rearing, changing careers, divorces, medical recoveries, and general aging. But now Sylvie has died, and the three remaining women are tasked with cleaning out her beach house before it's sold. Thrust together In this weathered old house on the ocean, where the ghosts of their younger selves compete with their current realities, the women ponder a collective lifetime o...f loves and grievances, disappointments and successes, and ultimately, how a life can change in a single unexpected instant - or over the course of a weekend"--
- Domestic fiction
New York :
- First edition, First American edition
- Item Description
- "First published in paperback in Australia by allen & Unwin, Sydney, 2019"--Title page verso.
- Physical Description
- 262 pages ; 21 cm
- Main Author
Wendy, Adele, Jude, and Sylvie's unlikely friendship began when they were in their thirties. Now, fifty years later, Sylvie has died, which brings the other three women back together over the Christmas holiday to sort through Sylvie's beachside home. Widowed Wendy brings her elderly dog, Finn, along for the ride—they are dependent on each other, and Wendy sees herself reflected in his deteriorating body. Adele's longtime partner has left her and her stage career has evaporated, leaving her feeling vulnerable and adrift, while persnickety Jude's cold, imperious demeanor hides a deep longing for comfort and order. The house is a mess, and the women seem to be coming together out of habit more than friendship, and petty bickering and personality conflicts abound. When a long-held secret is revealed during a night of drunken revelry, the precarious friendship is further endangered. Third-person narration gives the reader equal time inside each character's head, exposing their insecurities and vulnerabilities. Each woman is both endearing and exasperating—there are no heroes or villains, only ordinary, flawed people. This insightful character study will appeal to fans of Sue Miller and Anne Tyler. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
In Wood's sharp sixth novel (after The Natural Way of Things), three septuagenarian Aussie women gather to help settle the affairs of their dead friend, Sylvie. Jude, a cold-blooded restaurateur and for decades the mistress of a married man, takes charge of the friends' task of clearing out Sylvie's beach house, which is perched on a perilous cliff. Wendy, a bedraggled feminist academic still mourning the death of her husband, arrives with her decrepit dog, Finn, whose ailments mirror the women's own. Late, as usual, comes Adele, a once-celebrated actor who hasn't had a gig in some time. Together, the old friends begin sorting through Sylvie's things. Inevitably, in the process of clearing and discarding, the women unearth old irritations and a devastating secret, causing them to question how they'd ever become friends in the first place. Wood explores myriad possibilities of success, failure, philosophy, psychic ailments, and forms of melancholy that a 70-something woman might experience. While the qualities seem to be assigned almost at random to her characters, somewhat diminishing their effect (Wood likens Wendy to Sontag even though she dresses like "a witless old hippie"), the women are mostly recognizable nonetheless, and painfully relatable. Baby boomers and Wood's fans will best appreciate this astringent story. (Aug.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.
"For nearly four decades, lifelong friends Jude, Wendy, Adele, and Sylvie have seen each other through romances, child-rearing, changing careers, divorces, medical recoveries, and general aging. But now Sylvie has died, and the three remaining women are tasked with cleaning out her beach house before it's sold. Thrust together In this weathered old house on the ocean, where the ghosts of their younger selves compete with their current realities, the women ponder a collective lifetime of loves and grievances, disappointments and successes, and ultimately, how a life can change in a single unexpected instant - or over the course of a weekend"--Review by Publisher Summary 2
Gathering to help renovate a late friend's memory-filled home, Jude, Wendy and Adele ponder a collective lifetime of loves, grievances, disappointments and successes over the course of a transformative weekend. By the award-winning author of The Natural Way of Things.Review by Publisher Summary 3
#1 International Bestseller Shortlisted for the 2020 Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award * Shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2020 * Longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award “The Big Chill with a dash of Big Little Lies . . . Knife-sharp and deeply alive.” —The Guardian (London) “An insightful, poignant, and fiercely honest novel about female friendship and female aging.” —Sigrid Nunez, National Book Award–winning author of The Friend “Friendship, ambition, love, sexual politics and death: it’s all here in one sharp, funny, heartbreaking, and gorgeously written package. I loved it.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train Three women in their seventies reunite for one last, life-changing weekend in the beach house of their late friend. Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank, and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur; Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual; and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they’ve remained close all these years, the grieving women gather at Sylvie’s old beach house—not for festivities this time, but to clean it out before it is sold. Can they survive together without her? Without Sylvie to maintain the group’s delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests, and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface—and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we’re forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship from an award-winning writer.