The Weekend

Shortlist year: 2020

Shortlist category: Fiction

Published by: Allen & Unwin

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?

'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 that is nothing short of a masterpiece.

About the author

Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood

Charlotte Wood has been described as 'one of our most original, provocative writers'. She is the author of six novels and two books of non-fiction. Her bestselling novel, 'The Natural Way of Things', won the 2016 Stella Prize, the Indie Book of the Year and Indie Book Award for Fiction, was joint winner of the Prime Minister's Literary Award for fiction, and was published throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and North America. She has been twice shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, as well as many others for this and previous works.

Judges’ comments

Charlotte Wood's meticulously crafted and beautifully written novel concerns three friends, now in their 60s and 70s, who meet over Christmas at the holiday house that once belonged to their late friend Sylvie, in order to clean it out and ready it for sale. But with Sylvie gone, the dynamics of the group have changed, and as they see the signs of old age showing in each other and face its myriad insecurities and fragilities, they begin to irritate each other in potentially disastrous ways. In this insightful, warm-hearted, and often very funny book, Wood does not shy away from the harsh realities of the ageing process. In essence, however, Wood's message is one of optimism: keep trying and refuse to give up, live life fully and support one another while you face whatever comes next.