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Garner’s life is famously entangled with her writing.It is well known that she inhabited the places in which she located her characters, and that reflected back the lives of her peers – the writers, artists, actors, musicians, students and academics who were drawn to Melbourne’s inner north by low rents.
In conclusion, the story line was well written and cleverly thought out.
The end of the story is open and leaves you to come up with an end of your own.
In her foreword to the new edition, Charlotte Wood focuses on these intimate landscapes in both Garner’s book and in her own reading of the book.
Wood declares in her opening paragraph that ‘makes me remember the person I was in my youth.
Just as he made his wish the knocking stopped, and his wife opened the door. The author never really says, but one can assume that he wished he had never made his second wish.
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White found the monkey’s paw and made his third and final wish.exhibits an intimacy with place that is built through local knowledge and the regular, routine movement through the spaces of one’s life. For Nora, the narrator and protagonist, it is the locus of the social encounter and emotional intensity on which the book’s narrative depends: I chased them down Russell Street to Jimmy’s in the city. They were sitting at a table with Willy and Paddy, who had their backs to the door […] They were glad to see me and I sat down with them to eat.When we left the restaurant we walked up Russell Street, strung across the pavement, Gracie riding on Jack’s shoulders.The city Garner writes about isn’t only reflected in her writing. A GENTLEMAN whose premises were infested by a large breed of sparrows, said they were birds of no principle.These nineteenth-century Victorian terraces accommodated the communal living portrayed in There were never enough chairs for us all to sit up at the meal table; one or two of us always sat on the floor or on the kitchen step, plate on knee.It never occurred to us to teach the children to eat with a knife and fork.Like all Garner’s work, it also makes me examine who I am now.’ Wood underscores that this is the reason for the book’s enduring appeal: ‘There it is, that willingness to own up and face the self, right from the start. I think this is why readers love her.’ Wood’s emphasis on the personal in the novel’s narrative and in her response to the book is important.After all, it is where ’s highly textured, perfectly rendered stray scenes speak of this loving impulse, to honour with delicacy and precision the beauty and pathos of ordinary life.The characters swim at the Fitzroy Pool, a still-popular spot.The book is scattered with the names of cafés, shops and venues, many of which survive and are now recognised Melbourne institutions: La Mama Theatre, Readings bookshop, the University Café.