I seem to be drawn to stories of loss, death and grief this year.
Either that, or the publishing world & our authors are producing more books than usual, with these themes.
This House of Grief follows Garner's journey to understand the tragic real life story surrounding the death of three young boys in 2005.
On Father's Day, in a small country in Victoria, a car left the road at night and ended up in a dam. The father escaped, but all three of his boys drowned. He was returning the boys to their mother after an access visit.
Was it a tragic accident or a horrible act of revenge?
Garner attended the subsequent court hearings and appeals, right to the bitter end.
She worked hard to keep an open mind - to assess the information and the witnesses without prejudice. She grappled with self-doubt, disbelief & repulsion.
She also provided anecdotal stories that highlighted the nature of anger, lies, suicide, marriage break-ups and country town life.
I found this story fascinating, horrifying, compelling and so very sad on so many levels.
My initial response had been "oh no, I can't read about this."
But in the end, I went on this journey with Garner - the journey to understand human nature.
What makes us do the things we do? Why do we lie about them? What pushes us over the edge? How do we cope when we find ourselves over that edge? How do we live with the things we do, especially the bad things we do?
This is a tale of lies, family breakdown, changing loyalties and grief. Garner explores these very human themes from all angles - with compassion and courage.
This House of Grief will be published next week through Text Publishing.