Cooee: A novel
Scribe, $32.95 pb, 310 pp
Vivienne Kelly’s short story ‘Passion Fruit’ was included in The Best Australian Stories 2007. In 2008 she won The Australian Women’s Weekly/Penguin short story competition for ‘The Third Child’. Cooee, her first novel, is further confirmation of her remarkable talent.
In the deceptively simple opening, the reader is introduced to Isabel Weaving – grandmother, mother, sister, daughter and divorcée. Isabel, reflective and stubbornly opinionated, considers her various relationships with family, her ex-husband, and Max, her absent lover. The reader is lured into Isabel’s world as childhoods – her own and those of her offspring – are dissected with cold detachment; her failed marriage is dredged up and pulled apart. Her love affair with Max is remembered fondly, but not without trauma.