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The Family Doctor

Paula is a dedicated suburban GP who is devastated by the murder of a friend and her children by their estranged husband and father. Stacey and the children had been staying with her after fleeing his control, and Paula is haunted by the thought that she couldn't protect them when they most needed it. How had she missed the warning signs? How had she failed to keep them safe?

Not long after, a patient with suspicious injuries brings her anxious young son into Paula's surgery. The woman admits that her husband hurts her, but she's terrified to leave for fear of escalating the violence, and defeated by the consistent failures of the law to keep them safe.

Can Paula go against everything she believes to make sure one woman is safe, one child? She isn't motivated by revenge. She's desperately trying to prevent a tragedy . . .

A riveting, provocative novel about women's fury, traumatic grief, new love, deep friendship, and the preciousness of life, The Family Doctor asks the question:
Should you cling to faith in a flawed system, or take control the only way you can? Can a good person justify taking a life to save a life?
RRP $32.99
or 4 payments of $8.25 with Learn more
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PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Family Doctor
  • Author: Debra Oswald
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • ISBN: 9781760877781
  • Length: 234.0 millimetre
  • Width: 153.0 millimetre
  • Languages: English
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: General Fiction
  • Publication Date: 02/03/2021
  • Pages: 368

RATINGS & REVIEW

29/01/2021 5:09:32 PM - Marianne
Powerful, topical and extremely relevant, this is an outstanding read.
“I don’t want to psychologise this. I don’t want to explain this away or analyse it in a way that drains the blood out of the primal bare fact of it: a man murdered his own children and their mother.” The Family Doctor is the third adult novel by prize-winning Australian playwright and author, Debra Oswald. For twenty-five years, Stacey, Paula and Anita have been friends. Careers and life events have parted them at times, but now they are all, once again, in Sydney. For the last five months, Paula has shared her home with Stacey and her children as refuge from an abusive husband. That ends when the man enters her home, shoots dead his children and his estranged wife, and then turns the gun on himself. After the initial shock that Paula and Anita suffer, their ongoing grief morphs into bewilderment and self-blame for missing signs, leading to discussion about how they could have helped Stacey hide, and then anger and indignance that this should ever be necessary. They even remark how men like that ought to be killed. Paula returns to her home determined to make the good memories eclipse the bad, and to her GP practice with an extra-vigilant eye on women and children. But “Once an idea had been said aloud, even in a flippant way, it could establish its own blood supply in a person’s imagination” As a court reporter, Anita funnels her rage into a long feature about how the system failed to protect women and children killed by men. That involves her attendance at the murder trial of John Santino, accused of pushing his girlfriend from an overpass into the path of a truck when she tried to leave him. She shares with Paula the daily progress of the trial, confident that this dangerous man will be put behind bars, and the heavily pregnant new girlfriend he parades daily in front of the media scrum will be safe. Paula treats a young boy whose mother reluctantly admits she is under the control of such a man, a woman for whom the system is ineffective. What does Paula do when presented with the unexpected opportunity to remove the threat? Conflicting thoughts run through her brain: “It would be wrong to use her knowledge of the situation and her skills to intervene. It would be wrong, given her knowledge of the danger this woman faced, not to use her skills to intervene.” Anita muses later “It was as if the malevolence from those men had oozed out of them, infecting the air, spreading until it turned a truly good person like Paula into a murderer.” In her thought-provoking story, Oswald describes the common pattern that these murders by malevolent men follow, and examines what could happen when the system fails the vulnerable and the anger and despair push those who feel powerless into something they would ordinarily never consider doing. With a few small vignettes, Oswald so deftly paints her victims that the reader’s heart cannot help but ache for their loss, and the devastating effects of that loss on those who remain. Her characters are believably flawed, their reactions entirely credible and their dialogue natural, if sometimes blackly funny. Oswald’s descriptive prose is wonderfully evocative: “A papery version of herself”, and she gives the reader a bit of romance, an exciting climax and a wholly realistic ending. Good advice is to have some tissues ready for parts of this brilliantly-written tale. Powerful, topical and extremely relevant, this is an outstanding read. This unbiased review is from an uncorrected proof copy provided by Allen & Unwin.
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SHIPPING AND RETURNS


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  In Stock Titles

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Dispatches in 4-5 days
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Dispatches in 5-7 days
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Dispatches in 5-14 days
To Order

Dispatches in 14-21 days
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7th December
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1st December
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25th November
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14th November
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7th November
  Shipping - Express Delivery ORDER BY
10th December
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3rd December
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30th November
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21st November
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14th November
 

Delivery options: Shipping to an Australian address

 

Service Price per order
Australia wide
Delivery time1
After dispatch
Saver Delivery (Tracked)
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$7.95 2-10 days after all items have arrived in the warehouse
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Items in order will be sent via Express post as soon as they arrive in the warehouse. Order may come in multiple shipments, however you will only be charged a flat fee.
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1 The expected delivery period after the order has been dispatched via your chosen delivery method.
2 Express is not available on all items.
3 Please note this service does not override the status timeframe "Dispatches in", and that the "Usually Dispatches In" timeframe still applies to all orders.

NB All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

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You will notice that each product page on the Web site includes an estimated delivery date range for Saver Delivery, as well as for Express Delivery if it is available for that product.

This Estimated Delivery date range is a combination of:

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In addition to the estimated delivery date range, on the product page you will find how long an item will take to be dispatched.

  Dispatch time
The time it takes to verify the order, complete invoicing, prepare your item(s) and dispatch.  
Explanation
The dispatch time will depend on the status of your item(s) at our warehouse.  
 
Immediate download

Immediate download

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Dispatches next business day

Usually dispatches next business day+

In stock at our warehouse.

Dispatches in 4-5 business days

Usually dispatches in 4-5 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 4-5 business days. 

Dispatches in 5-14 business days

Usually dispatches in 5-14 business days+

Order placed with supplier, estimated arrival time to warehouse is 5-14 business days.


+ All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

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All our estimates are based on business days and assume that shipping and delivery don't occur on holidays and weekends.

 

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International delivery

To track orders sent by DHL, go to DHL tracking

 

International orders

Deliveries to destinations outside Australia are made by DHL courier, and cannot be made to post office boxes. Charges for international delivery destinations are available below. For international deliveries we will hold your order until we can send you all your items at once.

Parcel Weight New Zealand Hong Kong US & Canada United Kingdom
Up to 1kg $30 $35 $40 $45
1.5kgs $35 $45 $50 $60
2kgs $40 $50 $60 $70
2.5kgs $45 $60 $70 $80
3kgs $50 $65 $75 $90
3.5kgs $55 $75 $85 $100
4kgs $60 $80 $95 $105
4.5kgs $65 $85 $100 $115
5kgs $70 $95 $110 $125

 

If your order weighs more than 1.0kg (2.2lb, roughly equivalent to 1 or 2 paperbacks), we'll let you know what your delivery charge will be, and seek your approval before sending your order.

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Delivery restrictions

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Unfortunately, you will be liable for any costs incurred in return to sender parcels if the information you provided was inaccurate.