Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner is a book to savour slowly.
And I did.
And I will again many, many times as time goes by.
A friend recently told me that she doesn’t buy many books (she works in a library and doesn’t really need to) but she bought a copy of Everywhere I Look (after reading the library copy) for two reasons.
One – the book was so wonderful that she wanted to support the author and her ‘luminous writing’.
Two – she wanted to have her own copy so that she could dip in and out of it again and again whenever she wanted. And she felt that she was going to want to do this very often.
Everywhere I Look is that kind of book.
Despite the number of years this book spans, Garner’s various essays, diary entries, letters and observations hang together gracefully. They range from thoughts on moving house, her friendship with Tim Winton, her reaction to the movie Red Dog, meeting Rosie Batty, a wonderful section on literary appreciation to hilarious observations on ageing.
There is so much to love and ponder. So much to connect to. So much of the personal Garner, warts and all.
One of the endearing qualities of this collection is how Garner imbues the familiar and everyday with a touch of beauty and charm, even when she is being scathing. She also gives us hope that the passing of time can finally bring us some form of healing and wisdom.
It’s tempting to fill this review with all the wonderful Garner quotes I noted in this book as I read it. However I think you should discover this lovely little gem for yourself and discover the particular sections that resonate with you.
This book really spoke to me at a very female level. I don’t mean feminine or even feminist. Garner actually spoke to me at some kind of deep-seated genetic, chromosomal level.