26 June 2011

Last Chance Café

by Liz Byrski

Pan Macmillan. Australian, Adult Fiction. Paperback RRP $32.99

Reviewer - Barbara Brown

I was looking forward to opening Last Chance Café and getting lost again in the wonderful writings of Liz Byrski - and I was not disappointed. This time around I have also recommended it to my husband to read as it is a wonderful story of relationships and secrets.

Margot is on the verge of turning 70 when she realises she has never accomplished what she set out to achieve in her twenties. Is it too late for an older woman to reinvent herself and follow a passion long ago lost?

Dot was Margot’s best friend but had disappeared on one of her many adventurous journ
eys. An accomplished journalist and activist, she returns to the local Melbourne suburb in spectacular fashion. Can a secret that she has kept hidden from her best friend since the 60’s be kept locked up or will it help heal Dot and her tortured life to bring it out into the open?

Phyllida is Margot’s completely opposite sister. She has been married for 50 years and on the night of their anniversary, Donald, her husband, is rushed to hospital with an aneurism. The one constant thing in Phyllida’s life has changed. Can a woman who has never looked at anything other than what is face value start to read between the lines and see all the deceits and lies that may have been there?

These three women may be the crux of this story but there are many minor players who are just as important and strong in Last Chance Café - Margot’s two daughters and ex-husband, the old Polish woman and her nephew, and the young activist neighbour of Dot’s. A wonderful story with a historical background of Australia’s awakening to the 60’s.

The Reading Stack reviewed Liz Byrski’s Bad Behaviour in September 2009.


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