Naama Amram reviews 'The Healing Party' by Micheline Lee

Naama Amram reviews 'The Healing Party' by Micheline Lee

The Healing Party

by Micheline Lee

Black Inc. $29.99 pb, 304 pp, 9781863958431

Compelling from start to finish, The Healing Party is a mature and illuminating account of the complex ties of family. Micheline Lee's début novel follows Natasha Chan who, after years of estrangement from her family, receives news of her mother's terminal cancer. Natasha leaves her life in Darwin and returns to the family home in Melbourne. Here, the Chans – who became born-again Charismatic Christians when Natasha was a child – speak in tongues, give prophecies, and evangelise. Paul Chan, the domineering yet charming head of the family, announces that he has received a message from God: his wife is to be healed and they must hold a party to celebrate. Terrified of disappointing her father but recognising his manipulation, Natasha swings between feelings of rage, pity, guilt, and self-doubt.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in August 2016, no. 383
Naama Grey-Smith

Naama Grey-Smith

Naama Grey-Smith is an editor, publisher and critic based in Fremantle, Western Australia. She has edited award-winning fiction and non-fiction, and was among the initiators of creative journal dotdotdash. Her enduring interests are language, memory and place. 

Leave a comment

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

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login 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 We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.