‘What is the instinct to flee? When home offers no comfort McPhee seeks solace in Europe and the Middle East. With an archaeological-eye and penetrating intelligence she excavates her own history, politics in the middle-east, life-sustaining friendships and the quiet despair of loneliness. An engrossing and affecting memoir. McPhee is fierce, frank, tender and resolute.’
In Other People’s Houses, Hilary McPhee exchanges one hemisphere for another. Fleeing the aftermath of a failed marriage, she embarks on a writing project in the Middle East, for a member of the Hashemite royal family, a man she greatly respects. Here she finds herself faced with different kinds of exile, new kinds of banishment. From apartments in Cortona and Amman and an attic in London, McPhee watches other women managing magnificently alone as she flounders through the mire of Extreme Loneliness.
Other People’s Houses is brutally honest, funny, sad, and full of insights into worlds to which she was given privileged access, and of the friendships which sustained her. And ultimately, of course, this is the story of returning home, of picking up the pieces, and facing the music as her house and her life takes on new shapes.
Brenda Niall, Sydney Morning Herald | URL
Carmel Bird, The Australian | URL
Mark Rubbo, Readings | URL
Jane Cadzow, Australian Book Review | URL
ABC Conversations, with Sarah Kanowski: ‘The writer and the Prince‘