“After Laura and Clare are abandoned by their mother, Felix is there to help, even to marry Laura if she will have him. Little by little the two sisters grow complicit with his obsessions, his cruelty, his need to control. Set in the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney during the 1940’s, The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower is a novel of relentless and acute psychological power”. A very good description by Goodreads of the book we discussed in our September meeting, and one with which we fully agree.
Most of our members found it a difficult read, if satisfying. The emotional abuse has no end and is described in a very skilful way. This novel was the fourth and last by Elizabeth Harrower, first published in 1966, before she quit writing in 1977. She had finished another novel, In Certain Circles, that was only published in 2014, after she withdrew it from publication in 1971.
Nobody knows exactly why she stopped writing, and if it wasn’t for Text Publishing’s decision to re-issue all her books, we wouldn’t have known about her excellent writing. Some of it is revealed in an interview in The Australian that makes interesting reading.
Next month we get together on October 10th at Preece House, to discuss At Grand Central Station I Sat Up and Wept by Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart. Hope to see you there and happy reading.
Ratings: Claudia 3.5, Denise 3.5, Di 3.5, Gail 4, Janet 4, Kim 3.5, Margie 3, Penny 3.5 and Viv 3.
We are a group that gets together once a month to discuss good books. Each of us gets to choose a book on a rotational basis, preferably one outside our personal comfort zone – we try to keep the trash to ourselves. After the discussion, we comment on other books we read that month. Most of the time we remain friends after the meeting.
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