Things Without a Name, by Joanne Fedler

Here at SISTAA we’re only supposed to offer support and advice. Theoretically our clients have to do the fixing and healing themselves. Most of them, though, are looking to be saved. If you take the time to read the sign on my door, it says legal counsellor, not Saviour. ‘Saving’ is not in my bio as a special skill. Neither is ‘psychic’, by the way. It’s not something you advertise. Besides, when people find out, they always ask retarded questions like Should I leave my husband? Will I die young? Do you do lottery numbers?

Faith Battaglia is thirty four and unmarried – but she doesn’t care. In spite of her disappointing cleavage and her dysfunctional family she has a busy and rewarding job, as a legal counsellor in a women’s crisis centre. But when her sister gets engaged and books in for a breast enhancement (an engagement present from her fiancé), one of her clients is murdered, and she runs over a cat all in the same week, Faith begins to see herself differently. After crying in the arms of a stranger she starts to confront who she is, and who she wants to be, as well as uncovering some of the secrets of her past.

Things Without a Name is a captivating story of one woman’s search for identity and peace. Faith is a wryly humorous first person narrator, adding some lightness to subject matter which could be emotionally very draining. With rape victims, murder, the death of a baby brother and more as subject matter, there are many melancholy moments, yet in the end this manages to be a feel good book. Faith has to choose to put the past, and her stressful job, behind her, and to allow herself her to be happy.


Things Without a Name, by Joanne Fedler
Allen & Unwin, 2008