The Winter Garden

Date
2023
Authors
Moir, Tanya
Supervisor
Bancroft, Andrew
Item type
Thesis
Degree name
Master of Creative Writing
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Publisher
Auckland University of Technology
Abstract

The Winter Garden is a black comedy about a disadvantaged teen in foster care who sets out to steal the life of a wealthy but lazy classmate. En route to a new foster placement, eighteen-year-old Winter glimpses the embodiment of everything she yearns for in the relationship between upper-middle-class mother Helen Dunbar and her daughter Emily. Finding herself enrolled at the same high school as Emily, Winter reinvents herself as a middle-class girl, befriends Emily, and begins probing the cracks she discovers in the Dunbars’ mother-daughter relationship to usurp Emily’s place in Helen’s affections. A battle of wits between the two girls ensues. When Winter frames Emily as a methamphetamine user, Helen chooses to believe her over Emily. Emily is thrown out, and Winter moves in. But with Emily out of the way, Helen turns all her passive-aggressive attention on Winter, who discovers the price of being Helen’s daughter.

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