Helen prepares her spare room for her friend Nicola, who is flying down from Sydney for a three-week visit. But this is no ordinary visitâ€”Nicola has advanced cancer. She is coming to Melbourne to receive treatment she believes will cure her.
From the moment Nicola steps off the plane, Helen becomes her nurse, her protector, her guardian angel and her stony judge.
The Spare Room tells a story of compassion and rage as the two womenâ€”one sceptical, one stubbornly sereneâ€”negotiate their way through Nicola's gruelling treatments. Garner's dialogue is pitch perfect, her sense of pacing flawless as this novel draws to its terrible and transcendent finale.