It Looks Better on You:
Jane Westaway & Tessa Copland, Eds.
When editors Tessa Copland and Jane Westaway called on NZ writers to pay tribute to women's friendships, they knew from the start what they didn't want. 'Not sentiment. Not sociology. Not celebrity chat. We looked for true stories from writers willing to go public on an intimate aspect of their lives.'
The result is a gritty and touching look at the durable, flexible and sustaining relationship which Fleur Adcock depicts as 'far more permanent, thank God, than marriage'. Describing the sea is probably simpler than cataloguing the breadth and depth of women's friendships. But these stories and poems splash through the shallows of primary school, navigate the shoals of adolescence and the swift, choppy currents of early marriage and motherhood, then strike out for the depths of mid-life and later.
Linley Boniface launches in first with a harrowing account of fire at sea and her subsequent rescue from nightmares. Linda Burgess describes a forty-something girls-only garden-visiting weekend where love, 'the real thing', is chewed over; Jenny Robin Jones steers through a turbulent triangle; Kate De Goldi praises sisterhood, Dame Fiona Kidman recalls her thirty-year friendship with the late Lauris Edmond; Paula Boock and Lynne Cardy give two versions of their 'Starsky and Hutch' era; Marilyn Duckworth wistfully recalls a friendship capsized by mental illness...