Passages of Writing: The Children, Charlotte Wood.

Book: The Children by Charlotte Wood. Allen & Unwin, 2007. This edition: 2008, E-book, Allen & Unwin.

Why: These few words take me whooshing back to my childhood summers. I can see my own mother waving like this, with her whole arm, I can smell the geraniums, the hot concrete and the rubber of bike tyres on quiet roads. Were every child’s summers like this? I really don’t know but Charlotte Wood has mined pinned. It’s the magic of great writing that can do this.

Mandy looks up at the kitchen window, sees her mother waving with her whole arm, and then disappearing from view. Mandy stands on the driveway in the still, hot air, a confusion of childhood smells and sensations swelling up at her — the green acidity of broken geranium stalks, the metallic taste of concrete. The silty red dirt, the quiet of the streets, the rubber of bicycle tyres. All the long hours  of all the flat, empty afternoons.

P. 45 The Children by Charlotte Wood.


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