Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Reviewed by
December 2015, no. 377
Georgia Blain reviews 'Six Bedrooms' by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Six Bedrooms

by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Random House, $29.99 pb, 240 pp, 9780857989130

Six Bedrooms by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Reviewed by
December 2015, no. 377

The best short stories are like a glimpse into a room as you rush past in a train – the messy kitchen table, an empty handbag, the perfectly made bed – a snapshot with enough detail to suggest so much more.

In Six Bedrooms, Tegan Bennett Daylight takes us into the world of growing up, of desire and shame, and of repeatedly making mistakes. She knows exactly what to reveal, slipping the curtain open and closing it again at just the right moment.

The young women in these stories (one of them, Tasha, appears in several) are awkward, ashamed of their bodies. They regard the world with a 'strong, eager, possible look' that makes it hard for them to meet their own eyes in the mirror and for us to gaze on them as they stumble through adolescence. They do not belong and they know it, but nor can they quite lay claim to being misfits ('I called us misfits before. I wasn't quite a misfit. I didn't have the courage for that').

They are trying on emotions and personas as you would clothes, and the fit is often wrong. In 'Trouble', two sisters are living in a borrowed London flat. It is a hushed adult space in which they do not belong. For the youngest of these sisters, failure to inhabit this space with any ease mirrors her failure to inhabit her own experiences and desires, as she drifts through her life wishing she were someone else.

Georgia Blain reviews 'Six Bedrooms' by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Six Bedrooms

by Tegan Bennett Daylight

Random House, $29.99 pb, 240 pp, 9780857989130

From the New Issue

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

If you are an ABR subscriber, you will need to sign in to post a comment.

If you have forgotten your sign in details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to ABR Comments. We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.