WellRead

Thanks for Having Me by Emma Darragh

$32.99

Mary Anne is painfully aware that she's not a good wife and not a good mother, and is slowly realising that she no longer wants to play either of those roles. One morning, she walks out of the family home in Wollongong, leaving her husband and teenage daughters behind. Wounded by her mother's abandonment, adolescent Vivian searches for meaning everywhere: true crime, boys' bedrooms, Dolly magazine, a six-pack of beer. But when Vivian grows up and finds herself unhappily married and miserable in motherhood, she too sees no choice but to start over. Her daughter Evie is left reeling, and wonders what she could have done to make her mother stay.

Emma Darragh's unflinching, tender and darkly funny debut explores what we give to our families and what we take from them-whether we mean to or not. The stories in Thanks for Having Me are like a shoebox full of old photos: they aren't in chronological order and few are labelled. Looking at a family this way reveals things we don't see when these moments are neatly organised. Except that within these pages are a few moments you wouldn't want to hold up to the light.