Leon is a man unburdened by sexual desire. Nonetheless he adores his wife — only partly for the way she wears his exquisite collection of haute couture — and when she becomes ill and dies he is completely shattered.
Then he discovers her correspondence with an unknown lover, and his suffering veers towards madness.
Leon hunkers down at his neglected country property, Joyful, with the entire local supply of scotch whisky and a bizarre plan to retrieve (posthumously) Tess’s devotion.
In this extraordinary comedy of grief, Robert Hillman evokes his characters, from the merely unconventional to the frankly deranged, with kindness, grace and wit. Joyful is a gift that will leave the reader deeply moved and filled with delight.
Robert Hillman has written a number of books including his 2004 memoir The Boy in the Green Suit, which won the National Biography Award, and Gurrumul, His Life and Music. He lives in Warburton, in Victoria’s Yarra Valley.