Helen Garner, Why she broke: The woman, her children and the lake (#Review)

I’m currently reading Helen Garner’s ‘True Stories’ (The Collected Short Non-Fiction), and ‘Why She Broke’ is the first piece in that collection. And, by the time I finished reading, I found myself thinking how could she NOT break?

Whispering Gums

Three years ago I reviewed Helen Garner’s This house of grief about Robert Farquharson who drove his car into a dam in Victoria, resulting in the deaths of his three sons. It’s a grim grim story, so you might wonder why I am now writing about her essay “Why she broke: The woman, her children and the lake” about Akon Guode who, in 2015, drove her car into a lake in Victoria resulting in the deaths of three of the four children inside.

There are two reasons, the main one being that this essay was, last week, awarded the Walkley Award (about which I’ve written before) for Feature Writing Long (over 4000 words). I hadn’t read the article when it was published in June this year, and probably wouldn’t have read it now, except for this award. What, I wondered, when I heard the news, made this essay, on a topic…

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