May as well get it over and done with. I’m a Marieke Hardy fan. Actually, fan may be going too far. As long-time ireckonthat readers will know, I love the Green Guide, and I loved reading Marieke’s column in that. I was so disappointed when it stopped. Now, I occasionally read the one she does in some weekend paper. If Mum saves it for me. I haven’t really listened to her on the radio for years and keep forgetting to watch that book show on the ABC. But I really like her lots, whether you call that being a fan or simply an admirer.
I guess what I always loved about Marieke (yup – I’m going first name basis) is that she seems a lot like me and my friends. I’d see her at Meredith or at gigs and think that she’s not that far removed. About my age. Living in Melbourne. Liking live music and books. As it happens, I was totally kidding myself. Marieke has led a wild and crazy existence – or at least, so it seems in this book.
It starts with the tale of how she and an ex on several occasions hired prostitutes. It is funny and self-deprecating and not at all glamorous. After whacking us with the email response of the ex to this story, Marieke then takes us on the sad yet hopeful story of a friend battling cancer. From here, it goes all over the place. To her geeky and bizarre letter writing (I wish I’d thought of that. It sounds like far too much geeky fun – and I really will get to Women of Letters soon. I promise myself this) to her relationship with her parents.
I loved it because it was funny and entertaining, and I hate it because at times it is pretentious and unbelievable. There are a lot of people who I don’t think would enjoy this at all, but if they are not already Marieke haters, they probably will be soon. I’m happy to remain a distant admirer.