On the evening of 4 September 2005, Father’s Day, Robert Farquharson, a separated husband, was driving his three sons home to their mother, Cindy, when his car left the road and plunged into a dam. The boys, aged ten, seven and two, drowned. Was this an act of revenge or a tragic accident? The court case became Helen Garner’s obsession. She followed it on its protracted course until the final verdict.
In this utterly compelling book, Helen Garner tells the story of a man and his broken life. She presents the theatre of the courtroom with its actors and audience, all gathered for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth, players in the extraordinary and unpredictable drama of the quest for justice.
The heartbreaking case Helen Garner explores in This House of Grief is one I’d really only known the barest details on. I vaguely remember the initial news reports, but living in Queensland I’m sure something closer to home soon took up the headlines. While we studied part of the media coverage at university, various legal appeals were ongoing and there seemed to my memory no definitive outcome. Was this a tragic accident or the most horrific and unthinkable murder?