Something Missing by Glenice Whitting
The poet Muriel Rukeyser once said: ‘What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open’. Something Missing is a work that confronts you with truths about the lives of women, and how the truth can indeed spilt open the world of one’s own life. Beautifully and powerfully told, in Something Missing, the reader embarks on a journey with two women encompassing decades of great change – great change in the world, and for the two very different women in this novel who come from two different cultures.
Born in a time when women were expected to leave school early to marry early, Diane is a young, Australian wife, mother and hairdresser. Recently remarried, Diane is doing the great Australian adventure with her child and second husband when she meets Maggie in the Australian desert. It is a meeting that will change both their lives.
American, world travelled, well read and sharply intelligent, Maggie has lived a life poles apart from Diane’s. The older and knowledgeable Maggie re-awakes in Diane her pushed down desire for education, education denied to her in her youth. For Maggie, her reasons for letting Diane into her life, and eventually her heart, are far more complicated.
Both women have dark secrets hidden away in their histories, and lives dictated and constrained by their female gender. The long years of deepening friendship reveals to Diane that Maggie’s life is not what it seems on the surface, that there is something missing from both their lives, something that can only be put right by their enduring friendship. It is a friendship that is first unequal, but evolves over time to when Diane steps out of Maggie’s shadow, seizes her own identity and self determined destiny. Empathetic, full of life’s truths and wise – Something Missing is a novel that stays with you, opens eyes to women’s lives and speaks to our hearts.