The erratics / Vicki Laveau-Harvie.Publisher: Sydney, N.S.W. : 4th Estate, 2019Copyright date: ©2018Description: 217 pages ; 21 cmContent type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781460758250 (paperback)Subject(s): Laveau-Harvie, Vicki | Laveau-Harvie, Vicki -- Family | Autobiographies | Families -- Canada | Family secrets | Mothers -- Mental health -- Canada | Mentally ill -- Family relationships | Adult children -- Australia -- Biography | Mentally ill mothers -- Biography | Dysfunctional families | Aging parents -- Care -- CanadaGenre/Form: Autobiographies | Autobiographies. DDC classification: 616.85
When her elderly mother is hospitalised unexpectedly, Vicki travels to her parents' isolated ranch home in Alberta, Canada, to help her father. She has been estranged from her parents for many years (the reasons for which rapidly become clear) and is horrified by what she discovers on her arrival. Her mother has always been mentally unstable, but for years camouflaged her delusions and unpredictability. Over the decades she has managed to shut herself and her husband away from the outside world. Vicki's father, who has been systematically starved and kept virtually a prisoner in his own home, begins to realise what has happened to him and embarks upon plans of his own to combat his wife. Vicki quickly realises how dangerous, and potentially life-threatening, her mother's behaviour is. She fears for her father's life and her own safety if her mother returns home. The power play between her parents takes a dramatic turn and leaves Vicki embroiled in situations that are ludicrous, heart-breaking, and frightening. All this makes for an intensely gripping, yet black-humoured family drama that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Finch Memoir Prize, winner 2018.
Stella Prize, winner 2019.