This House of Grief

This House of Grief❰Reading❯ ➿ This House of Grief Author Helen Garner – Bluevapours.co.uk Anyone can see the place where the children died You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction of Colac Late in August , soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Anyone can see the place where the children died You take the Princes Highway past Geelong, and keep going west in the direction This House Kindle - of Colac Late in August , soon after I had watched a magistrate commit Robert Farquharson to stand trial before a jury on three charges of murder, I headed out that way on a Sunday morning, across the great volcanic plainOn the evening ofSeptember , Father s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident The court case became Helen Garner s obsession She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justiceThis House of Grief is a heartbreaking and unputdownable book by one of Australia s most admired writers Helen Garner s first novel, Monkey Grip won theNational Book Council Award, and was adapted for film inSince then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism Inshe published The First Stone, a controversial account of a Melbourne University sexual harassment case Joe Cinque s Consolationwas a non fiction study of two murder trials in Canberra InHelen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature Her most recent novel, The Spare Room, won the Victorian Premier s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages Helen Garner lives in Melbourne.

Helen Garner was born in Geelong in She has published many works of fiction including Monkey Grip, Cosmo Cosmolino and The Children This House Kindle - s Bach Her fiction has won numerous awards She is also one of Australia s most respected non fiction writers, and received a Walkley Award for journalism in Her most recent books are The First Stone, True Stories, My Hard Heart, The Feel of Stone and Joe Cinque s Consolation In she won the Melbourne Prize for Literature She lives in MelbournePraise for Helen Garner s work Helen Garner is an extraordinarily good writer There is not a paragraph, let alone a page, where she does not compel your attention Bulletin She is outstanding in the accuracy of her observations, the intensity of passionher radar sure humour Washington Post Garner has always had a mimic s ear for dialogue and an eye for unconscious symbolism, the clothes and gestures with which we give ourselves away Peter Craven, Australian Helen Garner writes the best sentences in Australia Ed Campion, Bulletin.

This House of Grief Epub Ï This House  Kindle -
    This House of Grief Epub Ï This House Kindle - Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident The court case became Helen Garner s obsession She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justiceThis House of Grief is a heartbreaking and unputdownable book by one of Australia s most admired writers Helen Garner s first novel, Monkey Grip won theNational Book Council Award, and was adapted for film inSince then she has published novels, short stories, essays, and feature journalism Inshe published The First Stone, a controversial account of a Melbourne University sexual harassment case Joe Cinque s Consolationwas a non fiction study of two murder trials in Canberra InHelen Garner received the inaugural Melbourne Prize for Literature Her most recent novel, The Spare Room, won the Victorian Premier s Literary Award for Fiction, the Queensland Premier s Award for Fiction and the Barbara Jefferis Award, and has been translated into many languages Helen Garner lives in Melbourne."/>
  • Paperback
  • 300 pages
  • This House of Grief
  • Helen Garner
  • English
  • 04 January 2017
  • 1922079200

10 thoughts on “This House of Grief

  1. Paul Bryant says:

    I wasn t even going to read this yet It was for later But once I picked it up, that was that.This is about a murder trial in which a father was accused of drowning his three children It was in Australia in 2005 His car left the road and drove straight into a dam and plunged down 30 feet The three kids in the car died, the father survived.In a case like this the whole thing turns on the state of mind of the father at that precise moment, 7 pm, 4th September, 2005.A whole sad parade of ordina I wasn t even going to read this yet It was for later But once I picked it up, that was that.This is about a murder trial in which a father was accused of drowning his three children It was in Australia in 2005 His car left the road and drove straight into a dam and plunged down 30 feet The three kids in the car died, the father survived.In a case like this the whole thing turns on the state of mind of the father at that precise moment, 7 pm, 4th September, 2005.A whole sad parade of ordinary people become principal actors in the court drama One of the most appalling public ordeals, I suppose, that anyone now has to go through is cross examination You are postman, a mechanic, a farmer, a window cleaner, and because of where you were and what you saw at this one particular time you become the focus of the high beam intensity laser intelligence of a barrister who will try to tear you in pieces Here s how Helen Garner describes cross examination of a woman who had remembered something very damaging to the defense The whole point is to make the witness s story look shaky, to pepper the jury with doubt So you get a grip on her basic observations, and you chop away and chop away, and squeeze and shout and pull her here and push her there, you cast aspersions on her memory and her good faith and her intelligence till you make her hesitate or stumble She starts to feel self conscious, then she gets an urge to add things and buttress and emphasise and maybe embroider, because she knows what she saw and she wants to be believed, but she s not allowed to tell it her way You re in charge All she can do is answer your questions And then you slide away from the central thing she s come forward with, and you try to catching her out with the peripheral stuff Did you see his chin then she starts to get rattled, and you provoke her with a smart crack Are you sure it wasn t a football she tries to get back to the place she started from, where she really does remember seeing something and knows what she saw but that place of certainty no longer exists because you ve destroyed it.Powerful stuff There s probablyhuman misery in this book than I can really recommend to the non true crime fan, but if you can stand looking one single horrific act in the face for 300 pages, Helen Garner is the most precise and compassionate guide

  2. Diane S ☔ says:

    I am not a big true crime reader but this one has been getting some good reviews As with anything concerning the deaths of young children, this one was heartbreaking Would a father, just to get back at his ex wife, actually stage an accident to murder his children Rating a book such as this one is hard What am I rating, the quality of the case Doesn t seem right somehow The only thing I can say is that this was clearly written, easy to understand the trial and the evidence It was presented I am not a big true crime reader but this one has been getting some good reviews As with anything concerning the deaths of young children, this one was heartbreaking Would a father, just to get back at his ex wife, actually stage an accident to murder his children Rating a book such as this one is hard What am I rating, the quality of the case Doesn t seem right somehow The only thing I can say is that this was clearly written, easy to understand the trial and the evidence It was presented in as unemotional a way as is possible in such a case Not an enjoyable read but it was interesting seeing how the case was put together and the thoughts of the writer as she witnesses this case that had such a terrible outcome.ARC from publisher

  3. Mish says:

    There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a true crime Is there.But in this case, I honestly wish I were reading a crime of fiction then a real one, because the reality of the events, leading up and surrounding the death s of three brave little boys is seriously beyond belief and outright distressing And the memory is still fresh in the minds of Australians, and in particular Victorians who live and drive nearby the dam, trying get their head around this harrowing crime, wondering why and There is nothing like sinking your teeth into a true crime Is there.But in this case, I honestly wish I were reading a crime of fiction then a real one, because the reality of the events, leading up and surrounding the death s of three brave little boys is seriously beyond belief and outright distressing And the memory is still fresh in the minds of Australians, and in particular Victorians who live and drive nearby the dam, trying get their head around this harrowing crime, wondering why and how it happened Helen Garner was no exception her unanswered questions became an obsession And when it came for Robert Farquharson to go to trial the father, accused of murdering his boy s as an act of revenge on his estrange wife Garner sat in every proceedings until the final, hoping for a explanation Do you think the story he told the police could be true that he had a coughing fit and blacked out at the wheel There is such a thing It s called cough syncope The ex wife swore at the committal hearing that he loved his boy s So Since when has loving someone meant you would never want to kill them She said it was a tragic accident that he wouldn t have hurt a hair on their heads.Garner was my eyes and ears and this is as close as I ve ever come to a real murder trial Her meticulous attention to detail and picturesque imaging of the courthouse, portrayed in her elegant language is just immaculate You can tell what a person is thinking by their body language and facial expression a frown, tight lipped, a tugging of shirt collar and Garner s precise observation of the courtroom characters made it quite an absorbing read as you re not swamped with so much of the factual details but getting an insight and gut feeling of the type of relationship between Farquharson and his family and the sway of the jurors during and after a witness testimony Garner didn t give much indication on her views on whether she thought he was guilty or not, or whether a witness testimony was favourable but she had a daughter of a friend, Louise, sitting through the first trial with Garner, which she was very grateful and enjoying her company Louise is an intellect young lady and her point of view was frank and direct I really like Louise she didn t hold back in saying what she thought, and I could see myself nodding my head in agreement.Peter Morrissey, Farquharson s defense lawyer, would ve been amazing to watch live I got the impression that Garner was initially anxious and skeptical of Morrissey by his entrance disheveled cloak and wig, and his blokey nature whistling the Collingwood football anthem as he strolled in But I had a feeling it change during the proceeding, when she had the opportunity to see him at work, I think she admired what Morrissey was trying to achieve He s a raging bull persistent, intimidating and grilling with his cross examination that by the end, the witness would even doubt their own memory He discredited a key witness to the prosecution in the second hearing and in doing so there was a good chance of a non guilty verdict in the second hearing They bought in expert medical witnesses, all with numerous theories and diagnosis on Farquharson mental state and the cough syncope A three day intense questioning on the Major Collision report in reference to yellow paint markings to indicate tyre tracks apparently there was an error, the marking didn t seem to be in line Cunning tactic used by Morrissey to make the juror s forget a previous statement, which made his client look bad But instead they were so bored they were drifting off to sleep.The only time the courthouse was eerily quiet was the profound statement from the police diver who dived into the dam to try and locate the car She spoke to the court with her eyes shut and her arms outstretched it was deep, it was dark, she couldn t see a thing When they lifted the car from the dam, it s the image of the boy s that will stay with me for a very long time.So many holes, theories, contradicting statement in this case that I don t think we d ever know what really happened except Robert Farquharson But obviously the jury saw something there to come back with a guilty verdict twice

  4. Libby says:

    This House of Grief by Helen Garner is a truly sorrowful book, as one might imagine from the title In 2005, on Father s Day, in Winchelsea, Australia, Robert Farquharson drove off the road into a dam He was able to exit the car safely, but his three young sons drown Separated from his wife, Cindy Gambino, Farquharson had the children for the day, and was on the way to returning them to their mother Purportedly suffering a syncopal episode caused by a coughing fit, Farquharson lost consciou This House of Grief by Helen Garner is a truly sorrowful book, as one might imagine from the title In 2005, on Father s Day, in Winchelsea, Australia, Robert Farquharson drove off the road into a dam He was able to exit the car safely, but his three young sons drown Separated from his wife, Cindy Gambino, Farquharson had the children for the day, and was on the way to returning them to their mother Purportedly suffering a syncopal episode caused by a coughing fit, Farquharson lost consciousness and control of the car Garner writes of the Supreme Court of Victoria, where Farquharson s trial takes place, as a freelance journalist and curious citizen, I had spent many days, solitary and absorbed, in the courtrooms of that nineteenth century pile in central Melbourne Garner follows the case, keeping notes, and witty observations of testimonies, defense and prosecuting lawyers, and body language of those involved Questions abound Did Farquharson plan to murder his children to get back at his wife who had gotten a new boyfriend Was this really a horrific accident caused by the rare condition of cough syncope The truth is hard to pin down and Garner will show this as the lawyers question witnesses Police evidence of tire prints, trajectory, whether there were steering inputs, how the bodies of the children appear, how Farquharson acted at the scene, the things he did immediately after, and following the incident, his relationship with his wife, his frame of mind in the weeks and months prior to the incident, and conversations taped by the police between Farquharson and his wife, and between Farquharson and a friend are all up for detailed inspection The chapter about whether a car door can be opened after a car goes into the water had me online googling how to exit a submerged car Someone, Farquharson Or one of the boys had managed to unbuckle the youngest, a 2 year old The other two boys had taken off their seatbelts The driver s side door is open.Garner paints a picture of the quest for truth, at times like a cast of actors participating in a theater play, and at times the earnest effort of a court of law I love the cover picture of the three glasses of water, one for each of the boys Garner writes, As he did every day, for the comfort of counsel, the tipstaff set out along the bar table several tall, clear plastic jugs of water The eye rested with relief on those evenly spaced columns of purity Getting to the truth isn t easy, and sometimes, it may be impossible An immersive experience to take in the courtroom drama as Garner presented it and a tantalizing puzzle of who did what and why, it was also a heartbreaking study of the dynamics of a destroyed family It wasinteresting to me because an acquaintance of my son and daughter in law was murdered along with her three children by the husband father who then shot himself, committing suicide I thought I might find some kind of answer in this book as to why something like that might happen Those questions are probed, but not answered fully, not to my satisfaction at least, and I admit that might be an impossible task Garner is a trustworthy and relatable observer Sometimes, she cracks a little wry humor it s necessary Recommended

  5. Li& says:

    Disturbing Truth is often stranger than fiction Once there was a hard working bloke who lived in a small Victorian Country Town with his wife and their three young son s One day out of the blue, his wife told him that she no longer was in love with him She did not want to go on with the marriage She asked him to move out The kids would live with her, she said, and he could see them whenever he liked The sad husband picked up his pillow and went to live with his widowed father, several stre Disturbing Truth is often stranger than fiction Once there was a hard working bloke who lived in a small Victorian Country Town with his wife and their three young son s One day out of the blue, his wife told him that she no longer was in love with him She did not want to go on with the marriage She asked him to move out The kids would live with her, she said, and he could see them whenever he liked The sad husband picked up his pillow and went to live with his widowed father, several streets away But 10 months later, just after dark on a September evening in 2005, while the discarded husband was driving his sons back to their mother from a Father s Day outing, his old white Commodore swerved off the highway, barely five minutes from home, and plunged into a damn He freed himself from the car and swam to the bank The car sink to the bottom, and all the children drowned. I saw it on the TV news Night Low foliage Water misty and black Blurred lights, a chopper Men in hi viz and helmets Something very bad here Something frightful Oh Lord, let this be an accident. This house of grief by Helen Gardner follows the trial of Robert Farquarharson, an estranged husband and father of three, whose car went off the road into a deep dam in Australia We get a unique look into the courtroom as the witnesses take the stand, the experts in their field testify, and the evidence is layed out Gardner does an beautiful job of allowing the reader to experience the intimate atmosphere of the room throughout the proceedings I was especially moved by her unaltered descriptions of the body language and facial expressions of everyone in the room, effortlessly giving the reader a crystal clear image of Robert Farquharson, his family, the reporters, the council, Judge, and members of the jury as they endured the lengthy trial I, myself, had made up my mind early on concerning Robert Farquharson s guilt or innocence, only to question my decision as the trial progressed This is a profound and moving experience It chilled me to the bone that Robert was even on trial that he could have drowned his three boys on purpose But, did he Or was it an accident that he had no control over Truth is often stranger than fiction You decide

  6. Carolyn says:

    In 2005 an event occurred that horrified all Australians Robert Farquharson, estranged from his wife, was returning his three young sons, Jai, Tyler and Bailey, to their mother after an access visit on Father s Day when his car swerved off the road, through a fence and across a paddock plunging his car into a seven metre deep dam While he managed to escape and swim to safety his three children drowned He claimed to have blacked out after a coughing fit and came to as the car was filling with In 2005 an event occurred that horrified all Australians Robert Farquharson, estranged from his wife, was returning his three young sons, Jai, Tyler and Bailey, to their mother after an access visit on Father s Day when his car swerved off the road, through a fence and across a paddock plunging his car into a seven metre deep dam While he managed to escape and swim to safety his three children drowned He claimed to have blacked out after a coughing fit and came to as the car was filling with water Both he and his estranged wife asserted he loved his children and would never hurt them, let them kill them However, the police were less convinced as several factors didn t seem right, including the path travelled by the car and Farquharson s behaviour during and after the accident and he was eventually charged with the murder.Helen Garner sat through the entire six week trial in 2007 and then an appeal and retrial in 2010 hoping to learn the truth Was this a dreadful accident or a horrific murder carried out as an act of revenge on his wife for dumping him and taking a new partner Perhaps it was a planned murder suicide but Farquharson failed to go through with killing himself Perhaps it wasn t premeditated at all but happened in an instant in a fit of rage Throughout the trial Garner doesn t take sides, she prevaricates between thinking this can t have been an accident and feeling sorry for the sad, downtrodden man on trial While showing us the human faces of this trial, the accused and his estranged wife, their families, the witnesses, the lawyers and judges Garner takes us through the anatomy of a criminal trial She carefully describes the way in which evidence is given by witnesses and picked apart by the lawyers with the microscopic examination of tiny details often taking up long stifling days She further shows us the human side of the trial as she watches the unspoken interactions between the accused and his family, listens to the banter and opinions of the journalists and observes the jury s response to the witnesses and evidence Did the jury make the right decision You ll have to read the book to see what you think In the end however, no amount of punishment or retribution can make up for the death of three innocent young boys As Garner herself concludesEvery stranger grieves for them Every stranger s heart is broken The children s fate is our legitimate concern They are ours to mourn They belong to all of us now

  7. Eliza Genang says:

    Fuckyeah this book My jury experience years ago got rid of any misty eyed romanticism about the democracy of the jury or court system, it is clear that this system of ours is a highly imperfect compromise This book is about the courts And it is so well done Neither schmaltzy nor hard nosed Intelligent, honest and important I want to hear about these things in long form I want diverse observers in the courts, bearing witness, telling the story This is a good use of a writer s time and ene Fuckyeah this book My jury experience years ago got rid of any misty eyed romanticism about the democracy of the jury or court system, it is clear that this system of ours is a highly imperfect compromise This book is about the courts And it is so well done Neither schmaltzy nor hard nosed Intelligent, honest and important I want to hear about these things in long form I want diverse observers in the courts, bearing witness, telling the story This is a good use of a writer s time and energy and she has done a good job

  8. Suzanne says:

    Fabulous writer I ll review this next week Can t wait to see her in conversation at the end of the month What a book.

  9. ☼♄Jülie  says:

    This House of Grief by Helen GarnerThis story reads like a work of fiction, incredibleit makes me reflect on the absolute fragility of the human condition, and how, regardless of our culpability, things can radically change, in the blink of an eyefor better or for worse.I find it quite disconcerting, to even for a moment, entertain the notion that in a flash moment of time, life can so drastically alter its direction, as to utterly and irrevocably change its courseand how, still regardl This House of Grief by Helen GarnerThis story reads like a work of fiction, incredibleit makes me reflect on the absolute fragility of the human condition, and how, regardless of our culpability, things can radically change, in the blink of an eyefor better or for worse.I find it quite disconcerting, to even for a moment, entertain the notion that in a flash moment of time, life can so drastically alter its direction, as to utterly and irrevocably change its courseand how, still regardless of actual culpability, our everyday behavior or persona prior to, and after events, can so influence the perception of culpability.This truly gives food for thought on the way we present ourselves to the world at large on a daily basis.So very many lives were permanently and tragically affected by the actions conscious or otherwise of one man, on the 4th September 2005Father s Day When, after an access visit and returning the children home to their mother in the light of early evening, Robert Farquharson, at the wheel of his old car, and with his three children as passengers, veered from his side of the road and travelled across the opposite side, through a paddock, and fence and plunged the car into a seven metres deep dam of murky dark water, where he miraculously escaped moments later, physically unscathed, andwithout his children What happens next is just too incredible to contemplate and is just the beginning of a very long and unbelievable account of this man s reasoning, and the eventual outcome.Regardless of the stated reasons, those three children were let down in so many ways by so many circumstances which were totally outside of their own controlthey were innocent pawns, always victims, in a saga being played out involving so many supposed experts in their fields Who was looking out for their mental and physical welfare whilst their pathetic father sought out and received professional help from various sources, for his trauma regarding the breakdown of his marriageas well as the loss of his precious and favoured car Who was is responsible enough to deem someone like that mentally worthy of access to those innocent children Clearly not the professionals whose help he so availed himself of for an extremely lengthy periodand probably at a great monetary expense.One thing is for certain, his first agenda was NOT the welfare of his children, it was always about him.Yet, those three children were obliged by their very innocence, to put their faith and trust in their father and all of the adults who had some say in their collective fateshowever minor, directly or indirectly.There are so many things wrong with the way that this story was played out by the accused, his version of the events, both before, during and after There are so many things that weren t taken care of or considered beforehand, in the natural responsibility of a parent parents in arranging the proper care of their children Children who have no competent part in decision making where their livelihood is concerned, and who s every care is at the discretion or mercy, of their caretakers real and imagined.If this was a work of fiction I think it would be panned as being totally without credibility Too ridiculous to be considered plausible, and yet as impossible as it is to believe, here it is, and three beautiful, innocent children were as lambsWowI am so floored by this story I can t believe how no one saw any flags or how vulnerable those three children were to the possibility of harm or anguish from, if nothing else, exposure to the mental state of their father s disposition.What an inconceivably sad fate for those three children, three innocent little boys who understood nothing of the workings of the minds of their keepers And what an incredibly sad fate for their loved ones, also an incredibly sad chapter visited on the lives of all of the people involved in the long process of bringing justice and some ineffective sort of closure to this horror, this devastatingly sad account of an apparent senseless, selfish act of bitterness.They will have to live with it foreverespecially the juror s, who s only connection was to be randomly selected for that long and emotionally taxing process, they truly are brave people.I hope I haven t overstated this review, but this is a really affecting story.4.5 sKudos to Helen Garner for her determination in following this case right to the end, and portraying it so well here.Many thanks to NetGalley and the Publishers for my copy to read and review

  10. Susan says:

    This is an incredibly moving and well written account of a murder trial, which I found utterly gripping On a September evening in 2005, Robert Farquaharson was driving his three sons Jai, Tyler and Bailey back home to his estranged wife His wife, Cindy, had admitted that she no longer loved him and that she wanted him to move out Later, she had begun a relationship with another man, but Robert seemed unable to move on Although Cindy was eager that he should be involved with his sons, he This is an incredibly moving and well written account of a murder trial, which I found utterly gripping On a September evening in 2005, Robert Farquaharson was driving his three sons Jai, Tyler and Bailey back home to his estranged wife His wife, Cindy, had admitted that she no longer loved him and that she wanted him to move out Later, she had begun a relationship with another man, but Robert seemed unable to move on Although Cindy was eager that he should be involved with his sons, he resented her living in their house, while he was forced to move in with his father He resented her getting the better of their two cars, while he had to rely on second best He resented another man having influence over his children The couple had been separated for less than a year when, on that evening Father s Day Robert Farquaharson drove his car off the road and straight into a dam Did he, as he claimed, have a coughing fit, which caused him to black out and lose control Why did he flag down a car and ask to be driven to Cindy s house, before calling the emergency services Why did he leave his children to drown This is a very important book, which says a lot about the legal system events happened in Australia, but much of what the author says is pertinent in any country and also about why we seem to hear about so many tragic cases of divorce leading to the murder of children The trial opened in 2007, in the Supreme Court of Victoria, but it was not clear cut The author is present to witness the first trial, appeals, and a second trial, before a final decision is made on the father s guilt or innocence During this book, we learn of the Court characters and personalities of evidence, the family of the defendant and that of the mother of the children Sometimes the evidence is bewildering for three days, for example, there is a discussion on tufts of grass, leaving the jury confused and bored and often the jury respond less to evidence andto their sympathy, or otherwise, with the witness giving evidence Over time, both the author and some of those involved most notably the mother herself will change their opinions about what happened that night and of the guilt of the father The author muses not only on the guilt, or otherwise, of the accused, but of what could possibly have led to his actions that night This was a tragic read, but written with sympathy and respect Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review

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