Somebody to Love by Steve Holden

Somebody to Love (PB $24.95) has an unlikely protagonist in a trans-sexual mortician.  She works in a morgue in a country town in Tasmania,  which is a difficult thing to do, so she has a very contained life.  Over one weekend, three bodies are brought into the morgue for  her to prepare for burial.  One of them is Mr Phillips, and she is drawn to him.  The book has a very formal tone, as she tells us about her background and strange relationship with her father and his fascination for taxidermy, as she goes through the processes of preparing the bodies.  You may find out more about the art of the mortician than you really want to know as she describes what she is doing.  Her search for love is an unusual one, and at times makes for uncomfortable reading.  The treats Mr Phillips with great care and attention, and her desire for him to be hers leads to some bizarre behaviour, but in her eyes it enables the fulfillment of her journey to womanhood.  An unusual, elegantly written book which requires careful reading. Worth the effort. Heather.

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