What Was Left
When Rachel is pregnant with Lola, she imagines motherhood will involve pushing her sleeping infant in a pram through sun-dappled parks, suffused with the purest love she has ever felt. Then she gives birth to a screaming, colicky child in a country far from home. Feeling isolated and unsupported, she is plagued with thoughts of hurting her daughter. This is the story of what happens next. 'Lola is angry. Lola is hungry. Lola spits the dummy that Rachel offers up, screams louder. A man in a suit walking past gives her a look. A shut-up-your-baby kind of look. "Oh Lola," Rachel says, and grits her teeth to the hard slats of the bench, the painful pull of Lola's mouth. She blinks away the watery world. Above, the currawong starts up again. That eerie, weary echoing song. Lola doesn't look up, just works her jaw, her mouth, one hand rested on Rachel's chest. Her fingers are as wide as they will spread, as if to say, you - all of this - everything - mine.' Limprecht writes a very different portrayal of the person who is so frequently the villain in our culture: the mother who abandons her child. Dark, honest and true, this is an extraordinary novel about parenthood and identity.
'What Was Left takes us into territory that is still taboo - a mother leaving her child. This unsentimental and utterly honest account of what it is to struggle with becoming a parent is also a wonderfully absorbing read, a novel that I couldn't wait to get back to each time I put it down.' - Georgia Blain
Eleanor Limprecht was born in Washington DC in 1977 and grew up in the United States, Germany and Pakistan. She now lives in Sydney, where she is studying for a Doctorate of Creative Arts at UTS. Her journalism and book reviews have appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian and The Sun-Herald. This is her first novel.