This House of Grief

This House of Grief

The Story of A Murder Trial

Book - 2014
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On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father's Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner's obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict. Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.
Publisher: Melbourne, Victoria The Text Publishing Company, 2014
ISBN: 9781925240689
Branch Call Number: 364.152 F23g
Characteristics: 300 pages ; 24 cm


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Feb 07, 2016

Thoughtful and well-written but a very ordinary story.

thebeadedlady Mar 31, 2015

Similar to ‘Joe Cinque’s Consolation’, Garner tells the story of the trial and subsequent retrial and appeal of Robert Farquharson, father of ‘the boys in the dam’. Unlike a ‘traditional’ true crime book, she doesn’t go into great detail about the lives of the people involved or endlessly outline the forensics and evidence of the case, although she does touch on these where relevant. Instead, Garner relates the trial through ‘her own eyes’, and in my opinion, this is what makes the book so compelling to read, (apart from detailing one of Victoria’s most notorious and divisive crimes in recent times). Garner records the emotions and atmosphere of the court sessions, as well as her own conflicting emotions towards those present, including the defendant, friends and family, jurors, lawyers and journalists. She highlights some inadequacies of the justice system, describing her dismay at the way some witnesses were treated on the stand, and also candidly reports that the proceedings became so boring at times that she fell asleep, as did some of the jurors and lawyers. She also tells of times where she was so overwhelmed by the days events that she would run out of court or go home deeply distressed. Not a book to be enjoyed in the usual sense, but definitely one that gets you thinking.

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