Bron Nicholls’ intricately crafted novella, opens a window into the joys and sorrows of growing old alone in regional Australia. This work has the eloquent simplicity of Kent Haruf’s Our Souls At Night, coupled with the womanly psychological observations of an early Doris Lessing.
Nell, in her seventy-ninth year, narrates her past and her present as a thoughtful observation of the world around her; of her participation in it on her own terms and learning from each challenge. There is plot, but it subtle. There is drama, but it is organic and uncontrived. Bron Nicholls excels in a style of writing that makes us look again at the familiar.
But she also writes in terms that make the book suitable for any age group, and, because she captures the minutiae of ageing that society and media often prefer to ignore, this is a book that would make a marvellous study piece in schools. For older readers, living alone, it is a must.
It is now available from Pomonal Publishing, or, for locals in the Grampians, from the Stawell Library’s new ‘local author’ shelf.