the greatest thing in the world

(Book cover spotted in an op-shop.)

Auckland writer and academic JACK ROSS reviewed my book (and Aleksandra Lane’s) for the Landfall Review Online. You can read it HERE.

It is a terrifying moment when you first read a review of your work – I feel a bit nauseous, I sort of squint at the screen as I read…bracing myself for the worst…and there is definitely that ‘wearing your undies in public’ feeling of having something of myself examined and evaluated by someone I don’t know. It’s a very weird feeling.

I’m especially grateful to Jack Ross for acknowledging that I have a long publishing history prior to my book coming out and that I’ve been working away at this writing lark for a very long time. When you publish your first book, people often say things assuming you have popped up out of nowhere and the book was written recently. The Comforter took me OVER A DECADE to write…because I had children in that decade and because I kept working and needling, editing and fidgeting, waiting for my work to be as ‘perfect’ as the vision in my head….eventually I grew weary of all the fiddling and opted for ‘good enough’.

Anyway, this review means so much to me…and I am very very extremely very grateful. Thanks, Jack Ross.

4 responses to “the greatest thing in the world”

  1. That is a lovely review of a lovely book by a lovely man who happens to be my husband!
    Well done Helen. ‘The Comforter’ richly deserves all the praise it is getting.


  2. I hasten to say (in case it isn’t obvious), that the fact that I’m Bronwyn’s husband and that she’s a fan of your work had nothing to do with my judgement of your book, which worked away at me gradually over quite a time before I felt I was starting to understand it … Thanks very much for this post, though.


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