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The Spare Room
  1. Jonathan Cleaver
  1. Neurology, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jonathan Cleaver, Neurology, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucester, UK; jonathan.cleaver{at}

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Gloucester’s Neurology Book Club was delighted to convene for its first face-to-face meeting since the pandemic began to discuss The Spare Room by Helen Garner, a modern-day fictional novel blended with highlights of Garner’s personal experiences. Garner, a former teacher, is now a well-established Australian novelist, short-story writer and journalist. The Spare Room marked her return to fiction 16 years since her last novel.

Despite the group’s alacrity at its return to face-to-face meetings, there were initial grumbles that we were once again discussing a book with a very sombre and ultimately tragic story. However, despite this, within the book a simple and resounding message seemed to shine through: the value of friendship and loyalty, which is sustained even when tested …

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  • Contributors JC is the sole author of this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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