Renee Conoulty: The Fence by Meredith Jaffe


Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Fence by Meredith Jaffe

Australian satire suburbs
"I promise you one thing, young lady. Building a fence is not going to keep the world out and won't keep your children in. Life's not that simple."

Gwen Hill has lived on Green Valley Avenue all her adult life. Here she brought her babies home, nurtured her garden and shared life's ups and downs with her best friend and neighbour, Babs. So when Babs dies and the house next door is sold, Gwen wonders how the new family will fit settle into the quiet life of this cosy community.

Francesca Desmarchelliers has high hopes for the house on Green Valley Avenue. More than just a new home, it's a clean slate for Frankie, who has moved her brood from Sydney's inner city to the leafy north shore street in a bid to save her marriage and keep her rambunctious family together.
To maintain her privacy and corral her wandering children, Frankie proposes a fence between their properties, destroying Gwen's lovingly cultivated front garden.

To Gwen, this as an act of war.

Soon the neighbours are in an escalating battle that becomes about more than just council approvals, and boundaries aren't the only things at stake.

Hey! Here's my review.

A fantastic Australian suburban drama that made me smile.

It was the cover that drew me to this book. The image of a little girl climbing the fence took me back to my childhood days of climbing a similar wooden back fence to play with the kids next door. I could relate to Frankie wanting privacy - all our fencing is open wire, so I can see into the neighbour's backyard two doors up and everyone walking their dog along the path behind our house can watch me hang the washing out in my pyjamas. I could relate to Gwen's community spirit too- all the neighbour kids play in our unfenced front yard and climb our tree. 

As Meredith took us back and forth, from one side of the fence to the other, I got to know and care about both sets of neighbours. Just when I thought someone was being unreasonable, another layer of the character was revealed. 

My mum came to visit just after I finished reading The Fence, and I think I recommended it to her three times in one day, it was on my mind a lot. I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


  • Where: Netgalley
  • Format: ebook

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