Friday, April 28, 2017

Brave new novel from Sarah Quigley - The Suicide Club

The Suicide Club
Sarah Quigley
1 May
RHNZ Vintage
RRP $38.00

 Three misfits – close to genius, close to the brink – come together in a passionate love triangle, but they are also flirting with a fourth, rarely explored, element: suicide.

After her previous, critically acclaimed and best-selling novel The Conductor, Sarah Quigley has bravely turned her attention to a personal and delicate topic.
In this compelling and confronting novel, Quigley takes us on a journey with three twenty-year-olds: Lace, Gibby and Bright.
Enigmatic, intelligent and fragile, Lace attracts men wherever she goes. ‘The whole world wants to help Lace — even inanimate objects. It’s the way she is.’ But no amount of attention can fill the loneliness she feels every day.

Loyal Gibby, a budding inventor, has the same job he’s had since he was fourteen: pushing a barrow through night streets delivering newspapers. Hyper-sensitive, he can be deafened by the smallest sound: ‘What had George Eliot said, about the exquisite danger of hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat?’ Keeping constant vigil over his friend Lace, Gibby dare not declare his love for her.
Unable to cope with his speedy rise to fame, writer Bright finds that ‘jumping seems easier than stepping back’ and he literally crashes into Gibby’s life when he plummets off a high-rise building and lands on Gibby’s newspaper cart.

Finally persuaded they need help, all three travel from England to Bavaria to an experimental institution run by Dr Geoffrey in a neglected old building called The Palace: ‘The Palace has always been the name of the institute, regardless of location.’ Can Dr Geoffrey cure them or can they avoid his probing questions and group sessions as they have tried to avoid so many social interactions in their lives?
But while trying to find solitude and peace at The Palace, Bright falls in love with Lace and comes into competition with Gibby. Both Bright and Gibby care deeply for Lace, both want to be close to her — but is Lace, in her fragile state, capable of being with either of them? At the very centre of the novel is the question: can you save someone you love?

Set in England and then Bavaria, this quirky, insightful and poignant novel sweeps you along; you try to figure out the three characters as they, too, try to come to terms with who they are. Their search for happiness, which seems always just out of reach, results in a fresh, challenging, funny yet heartrending work.


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