|Courtesy of Allen & Unwin
The change had slipped over the happy simplicity of their lives like the change of a season, the moment when you turn and quietly close a door and retreat a little into yourself. She had watched Sabiha falling in love and not knowing she was falling in love. Now she watched her dealing with the stranger’s absence, her struggle to forget him and to be content again. Houria knew that what she was witnessing was Sabiha’s struggle not to believe in her heart that this man had wilfully disappointed her or, in some obscure and unaccountable way, betrayed her, the deep irrationality of her feelings troubling her and putting a cloud over her days. That was Sabiha’s torment, to know one thing and to passionately believe another. Horia herself had known this blank enmity of time before she met Dom, the interminable passage of the hours, the hope of each day rising then failing, the inability to reason it all away. For what is there in life, she asked herself as she rammed the stuffing into the cold carcass of the bird, that is more sublime that the finding of a mate? She knew that Dom, in his new life on the other side, agreed with her.
Deservedly shortlisted for the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Awards 2010, Lovesong by Alex Miller is a beautiful book celebrating the complexities of love.
Lovesong (Allen & Unwin, 2009, ISBN:978174237 1209 (hb), 354 pages).