Friday, 1 April 2016

Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover

Reviewer: Liza Perrat, author of Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel and Blood Rose Angel

What we thought: Oh what an achingly honest and fabulous account of the author’s childhood and family life. Luckily I was on holidays (with a shady spot on the beach) when I read it, as I literally could not tear myself away.

The author, Richard Glover, is an Australian talk radio presenter, journalist and author, whose favourite dinner party game is: “Who's Got the Weirdest Parents?” With the parents Richard Glover had, or rather endured, he rightly believes he will always win.

In this harrowing, humorous, insightful and very poignant account of his childhood, the author tells us about his mother, a deluded, disillusioned women who invented her past, ignored her child, and eventually ran off with Richard’s eccentric English teacher, and his father, an often-absent alcoholic who seemed to spend his life chasing dreams. In the middle of all this was the sad and confused teenage Richard, trying in vain to belong to a functioning family. He tells us about some truly terrible experiences, and then goes on to portray the love and satisfaction he found in building his own, loving family, with his wife and children. All quite the opposite to what he’d known.

The author shows how he eventually accepted the fact that in the end we are responsible for the way we live our lives and that we should not blame our parents for our own shortcomings, through theirs. It teaches us to examine how we live our lives: to think about our past, but perhaps not to focus too much on it.

Excellently- narrated and very thought-provoking, I was mesmerized, and finished Flesh Wounds in one sitting.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: memoirs, or if you had a not quite “normal” family and childhood.

Avoid if you dislike: sad stories about neglected children and highly dysfunctional families.

Ideal accompaniments: a crate of beer, a meat pie and a shady spot on the beach to plunge right back into 1970s Australia.

Genre: Memoir – Autobiography.

Available from Amazon

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