'People went on about death bringing friends together, but it wasn't true. The graveyard, the stony dirt - that's what it was like now . . . Despite the three women knowing each other better than their own siblings, Sylvie's death had opened up strange caverns of distance between them.'
Four older women have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast.
But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. Can they survive together without her?
They are Jude, a once-famous restaurateur, Wendy, an acclaimed public intellectual, and Adele, a renowned actress now mostly out of work. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for Christmas at Sylvie's old beach house - not for festivities, but to clean the place out before it is sold.
Without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface - and threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.
The Weekend explores growing old and growing up, and what happens when we're forced to uncover the lies we tell ourselves. Sharply observed and excruciatingly funny, this is a jewel of a book: a celebration of tenderness and friendship.
The Weekend will be published by Allen & Unwin in October 2019. In 2020 the novel will be released by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in the UK, and by Riverhead Books in the USA.
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News & events
Promotional tour - The Weekend
Charlotte will tour from October onwards to discuss THE WEEKEND at the following venues. Links will be made live as booking information becomes available.
Oct 15: Better Read than Dead, in conversation with Susan Wyndham - St Stephen's Church Newtown
Oct 16: Gleebooks Glebe, in conversation with Malcolm Knox
Oct 17: Potts Point Bookshop, in conversation with Kate Evans - Institute of Architects
Oct 18: Books Plus Bathurst – Little Albert Room, Victoria Hotel
Oct 22: Harry Hartog Bookstore, ANU Canberra
Oct 23 2pm: Fairfield Bookshop, Northcote Library
Oct 23, 6.30pm: Readings Carlton, in conversation with Sophie Cunningham - Church of All Nations Carlton
Oct 24: The Avenue Bookstore Albert Park, in conversation with Tim Byrne
Oct 25: Books and Ideas at Montalto Winery hosted by Wheeler Centre BOOKED OUT
Oct 27: Farrells Bookshop Mornington, in conversation with Kate Horton
Oct 28: UNSW Bookshop, in conversation with Michael Balfour
Oct 29: Avid Reader West End Brisbane
Oct 30: Riverbend Books Bulimba, in conversation with Julie Kordic
Oct 31: Matilda Bookshop, Mt Barker, Stirling Library
Nov 6: Fullers Bookshop Hobart, in conversation with Posie Graeme-Evans
Nov 7: Bookoccino Bookshop Avalon, in conversation with Denise Leith
Nov 14: Gleebooks Blackheath, in conversation with Tegan Bennett Daylight
Nov 19: Book Bazaar Umina, in conversation with Vicki Hastrich and Ailsa Piper, Bells at Killcare
Nov 22: Woollahra Library, in conversation with Vicki Hastrich and Ailsa Piper
Feb 9: Great Escape Books Aireys Inlet, literary lunch in conversation with Hannie Rayson