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Three daughters gather at their mother's wake, reeling. Grief is weird, isn't it?
Candice just wants to pack up her mother's things without getting sentimental, while Alex, newly sober and dreading a relapse, sneaks old bits of Tupperware into her handbag. Their adopted little sister Sydney is doing pretty well. That's two mothers she's lost now, not that she's counting.
With their childhood home up for sale the sisters are left adrift, wrestling with their grief and each other. Considering they can't even agree on the type of person their mother was, this should be fun.
Ringing with harsh realities and a few home truths, Toast is a warm, funny story about the family we're given and the family we choose for ourselves.
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Female | 20s | under 3 minutes
Starts on page 35
EXTRACT: There’s this memory of Mum that I keep replaying in my head. She’s in the kitchen and she’s got the radio on. She’s singing along, even though she doesn’t know the words. She’s… watching something cook on the stove, I think, and then she turns around to check the recipe she’s using, and in the pot on the stove there’s a wooden spoon, and… then it ends. That’s it. This one dumb memory. It doesn’t mean anything and I can’t stop thinking about it.
Female | 30s | 3 to 5 minutes
Starts on page 49
EXTRACT: And I just… God. Started shaking. With this rage. Felt like I was – like I was coming out of my skin. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t think. I hated him, for saying that, and I hated that I didn’t believe it and I hated that I couldn’t just say “thank you” and move on to the next thing, and it happens all the time, for all kinds of reasons. Barely means anything anymore. “Oh, look, I’m angry again”.
"...a strong piece of writing..."
"A beautifully considered work, bringing laughter, tears and bitter-sweet memories as well as its own considerations of ever fresh topics, Toast confirms that family is the best and worst part of our lives."
"...an apt and astoundingly accurate portrayal of grief and family..."