Six Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Full of glorious angst, embarrassment and small achievements.
Hot afternoons on school ovals, the terrifying promise of losing your virginity, sneaking booze from your mother's pantry, the painful sophistication and squalor of your first share house, cancer, losing a parent.
Tegan Bennett Daylight's powerful collection captures the dangerous, tilting terrain of becoming adult. Over these ten stories, we find acute portrayals of loss and risk, of sexual longing and wreckage, blunders and betrayals. Threaded through the collection is the experience of troubled, destructive Tasha, whose life unravels in unexpected ways, and who we come to love for her defiance, her wit and her vulnerability.
Stunningly written, and shot through with humour and menace, Six Bedrooms is a mesmerising collection of moments from adolescence through adulthood, a mix of all the potent ingredients that make up a life.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Tegan Bennett Daylight's first book in nine years is cause for celebration, and confirmation that the short story is enjoying robust health. The messy, awkward transitions from late adolescence to adulthood are the rich material for this collection in which several characters, most notably a young woman called Tasha, reappear.
Daylight has real acuity, insight and sympathy for her characters, no matter how embarrassing their missteps as they project themselves into the unfamiliar dynamics of new relationships. Parents hover in the wings, mostly ineffectually, occasionally picking up the pieces. Hearts and bodies twist with longing and misdirected desire. She never judges, but observes with an unblinking, all seeing eye.
Reading this collection is a potent memory jogger that will make you grateful that you are no longer a twenty-something trying to work out your place in the world. But it will also make you smile, ruefully, as you remember the mistakes, parties, intoxications, and moments of shrivelling embarrassment that helped shape your adult self. Above all, you will come away with admiration for a writer who harnesses sensation, memory and heightened realism to great effect.
About the Author
Tegan Bennett Daylight is a critic, teacher and fiction writer. She is the author of several books for children and teenagers, the novels Bombora, What Falls Away and Safety. Her stories appear in a wide range of Australian journals, including Griffith Review, Meanjin and Best Australian Stories. She lives in the Blue Mountains with her husband and two children.