Accompanied by her two children, a woman tries to gain entry into a walled garden. The three have been on a long journey, making an escape of sorts. The children have never been here before. The woman has come home. But home is not as it was. Even when the woman gains entry, what she finds is not what she left. Her mother, her brother, her family - and herself - have experienced tragedies they do not discuss, and behave in ways that others pretend to ignore. Like a Bergman film or a Pinter play, Julia Leigh has created a work of unforgettable atmosphere and psychological drama - a strange and absolutely compelling vision of a family full of secrets, a short novel that ranks with the finest international literature.
Shortlisted for NSW Premier's Literary Award Christina Stead Prize for Fiction 2009.
Vanessa writes: This is an eerie and unsettling novella about a famliy brought together by trauma. Accompanied by two young children, Olivia has left a violent marriage and returned to her childhood home, a French chateau surrounded by formal gardens. Olivia is soon followed by her brother Marcus and his wife Sophie. They are due back from the hospital with their newborn, but instead return with a stillborn. Both powerful and disturbing, this book haunted me for days afterwards.