Waterlemon: Husband in a Coma and Other Setbacks

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Pan Macmillan Australia, 2006 - Journalists - 294 pages
Waterlemon is the true story of a sudden unwelcome interruption to an ordinary happy life. One perfect spring day, when newspaper columnist Ruth Ritchie was playing at home with her three-month-old baby, she received the call that her husband had been in a road accident, and was being airlifted to hospital. Waterlemon charts the days, months and years that follow in a narrative about trauma that is dark, subversively funny and totally different to anything you may have read before. As we follow her husband and her family struggle to return to an elusive normality, we witness the astonishing amount of love, courage, anger, good cooking and black humour that comes out of surviving, coping and living with brain injury. Waterlemon is as surprising as it is moving, as Ruth turns the survival genre on its head.

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User Review  - cassmob - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book if that's the right word. The story of a family's challenge with brain damage. It highlights the demands on the healthy members of the family as well as the person who is ill and ... Read full review

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This book was offensively disappointing. I never really felt that I could waste $10, especially on a work of literature. Yet to call this thing "a book" is a slight to all who consider themselves authors.
This is closer to a Woman's Day article, trying its best to be edgy for attention. I expected that this would be about about an unexpected tragedy befalling a woman's husband, and how she managed to overcome and deal with that. Instead, I found a disgustingly self-absorbed tale where Ruth Ritchie looks for every excuse to exalt herself as some sort of superior, hyper-intelligent being. Whether she is describing her lavish "egyptian cotton" sheets or drooling over her ability to "fire" those involved with her husband's rehabilitation, Ritchie's book reeks of an ugly sense of self-entitlement. This is not about her husband, this is all about her, and she enjoys basking in the sunlight of her privilege, hoping you will gawk on in envy.
She unflinchingly drags her husband's ex-wife and his extended family through the mud. When she isn't attacking some poor social worker just doing his job for being "creepy" and "damp", she is lamenting about her downgrade from a two-door convertible to her husband's Audi. She writes like a (now old and bitter) high school bully. Overcoming tragedy clearly does not make someone a good person.
If it isn't yet clear, I am absolutely flabbergasted that someone can be so blind to their own pretentiousness. I certainly regret buying this book, solely due to the fact that another sale will only work to inflate her venomous personality. 0/10.

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About the author (2006)

Ruth Ritchie is a freelance writer, playwright and ex-copywriter. A columnist for the Sydney Morning Herald for the last 15 years, Ritchie regularly savages everything from television to bad restaurants in print. Fans of her work will already anticipate a dark and entertaining take on the usually dour "brush with death" genre. Waterlemon explores the "triumph of human spirit over adversity" with a twist, and probably a vodka.

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