The High Spaces

by Fiona McFarlane

I loved this collection of short stories, many set in Australia but others in England and other parts of the world. They have a touch of cunning wickedness which I find attractive, though they could be unsettling. So good, I bought them as a gift for someone else.


Rose and Susan sat by a window with one lamp on and the curtains open. They looked almost identical in this pliable light. Ships sounded out on the harbour and a buoy in the bay fell and dell in the tide. Susan composed lists in the lamplight: errands, letters to write, shopping to be done. One finger was bright with her wedding ring. Rose disliked the publicity of wedding rings. Or perhaps she was only irritated that Robert was out with his wife tonight, at a fancy-dress party to which Rose had also been invited. She would have gone as a dancer, with red circles on her cheeks and her hair curled around her face. At some point during the party Robert would have placed his hand on the small of her back, but he would have left with his wife.


After the Blues by Kathy Lette
Balga Boy Jackson by Mudrooroo
  • The Best Australian Stories 2013 - edited by Kim Scott

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