Monkey Grip by Helen Garner

The entanglement one feels when in love with someone damaged is a particular kind of feeling—lust, excitement, hope, disappointment—feelings that melt together, not complete without their other. Monkey Grip captures addiction well, Javo’s heroin dependency, of course, but mostly Nora’s incessant longing, even when Javo is at his most disturbed and distant.

Garner also expresses the essence of bohemian Fitzroy in the seventies so well that reading this book made me nostalgic for an era I wasn’t even around for—Monkey Grip is a must-read for Australian literary lovers, or anyone with a fascination with bohemian communities.

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