The Healing Party - A Novel
Estranged from her family, Natasha is making a life for herself in Darwin when her sister calls with bad news. Their mother is ill, and has only a few months to live. Confused and conflicted, Natasha returns to the home she fled many years before. But her father, an evangelical Christian, has not changed -he is still the domineering yet magnetic man she ran from, and her sisters and mother are still in his thrall.
One night her father makes an astonishing announcement: he has received a message from God that his wife is to be healed, and they must hold a party to celebrate. As Natasha and her sisters prepare for the big event - and the miracle - she struggles to reconcile her family's faith with her sense that they are pretending. Is she a traitor or the only one who can see the truth? And what use is truth anyway, in the face of death?
Taut, funny and poignant, The Healing Party is an electrifying debut novel about faith and lies, the spirit and the flesh.
'A wild family drama, shot through with a furious, pure and grieving love.' -Helen Garner
'A compelling portrait of religious zealotry but also of true goodness. The portrait of the family is wonderfully realised, especially the mother, whom Lee has imbued with warmth and grace, and her own inner mystery.' -Amanda Lohrey
'Micheline Lee excels at drawing the ambiguities and frictions of familial connections: conflict, dislike and difference balanced by enduring love, which, in this family, is felt, but never expressed ... Lee creates a memorable, almost tragi-comic portrait of an Asian-Australian family.' -Books+Publishing
'I couldn't stop till I finished. Horrifying and wonderful.' -David Marr
Born in Malaysia, Micheline Lee migrated to Melbourne when she was eight. After completing a law degree she lived in Darwin for fifteen years. Her first job was as a criminal prosecutor and her next job was as a painter, holding exhibitions in Australia and overseas. Micheline now lives in Melbourne with her partner and son, and continues to alternate between art and the law. The Healing Party is her first novel.