Evocative, taut and wryly funny, this stunning novel is about faith and lies, the spirit and the flesh
Estranged from her family, Natasha is making a life for herself in Darwin when her sister calls with bad news. Their mother is ill, and has only a few months to live. Confused and conflicted, Natasha returns to the home she fled many years before. But her father, an evangelical Christian, has not changed –he is still the domineering yet magnetic man she ran from, and her sisters and mother are still in his thrall.
One night her father makes an astonishing announcement: he has received a message from God that his wife is to be healed, and they must hold a party to celebrate. As Natasha and her sisters prepare for the big event – and the miracle – she struggles to reconcile her family's faith with her sense that they are pretending. Is she a traitor or the only one who can see the truth? And what use is truth anyway, in the face of death?
The Healing Party is a unique and compelling portrait of the deep complexities of family connection.
Shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards
'A compelling portrait of religious zealotry but also of true goodness. The portrait of the family is wonderfully realised, especially the mother, whom Lee has imbued with warmth and grace, and her own inner mystery.' —Amanda Lohrey
'A wild family drama, shot through with a furious, pure and grieving love' —Helen Garner
'I couldn't stop till I finished. Horrifying and wonderful.' —David Marr
'Incredibly gripping, highly recommended' —Leigh Sales