Love, Death & Other Scenes

Nova Weetman

Love, Death & Other Scenes
University of Queensland Press
3 April 2024

Love, Death & Other Scenes

Nova Weetman

How do we become more after losing? Beloved Australian author Nova Weetman shares her heartfelt experiences with grief and loss while also celebrating the profound beauty of love and life.

Nova Weetman's unforgettable memoir reflects on experiences of love and loss from throughout her life, including- losing her beloved partner, playwright Aidan Fennessy, during the 2020 Covid lockdown; the death of her mother ten years earlier; her daughter turning eighteen and finishing school; and her own physical ageing. Using these events as a lens, Nova considers how various kinds of losses - and the complicated love they represent - change us and can become the catalysts for letting go.

This is a moving, honest account of farewelling a partner of twenty-five years, parenting teenagers through grief, buying property for the first time at the age of fifty, watching Aidan live on through his plays, and learning to appreciate spending hours alone with only the household cat for company. Warm and wise - and often joyful - Love, Death & Other Scenes ultimately focuses on the living we do after losses and what we learn from them.


After playwright Aidan Fennessy dies during the 2020 covid lockdowns, it is 15 months before his family can hold his memorial. Loss is always unfair, but it feels especially so to happen when everybody had to look after each other by staying apart.

Nova Weetman, an icon of Australian youth literature and Aidan’s partner of 25 years, tells her story in three acts: love, death, and other scenes. Much like grief, it isn’t linear, instead ringing with an intimacy and rawness that will floor you. There is the flush and embarrassment of young love as Nova sees Aidan through an op shop window and falls in love hard and fast, and the emotional and financial valleys and peaks of having a family with two creatives as parents. There is the relatable – getting a covid cat – to the sorrowful: she visits their published works, watching over each other on the State Library shelves. Then the questions: how do you tell your young children their father will die? How do you know the truth of a past, knowing the full stories may not be told because the other keeper of the memories is no longer there to fill in the gaps?

Weetman’s power as a writer can put you in the room with the hardest moments of life; it will also break your heart, make you laugh and dry your tears. Like Natasha Sholl’s Found, Wanting and Leigh Sales’ Any Ordinary Day, this is an exploration of pain and love, and how the two are so tightly wound around each other that it can be hard to pry them apart. It’s also about how in the hardest of times – masked and separated from everybody else in the world, both literally and metaphorically – you can still find the ropes the world throws you.

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