Trisha: As I Am by Trisha Goddard
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
There's a moment, late in the book, where Goddard says to her readers that there's no reason to explain the format of her UK tv show, because if you've picked up this book you'll know all about it. She really is writing for a British audience, and her comment merely confirms what I'd sensed earlier on.
But I picked up this book because I remembered Goddard from Play School and from Everybody. It was listed under 'Australian authors' on the Bolinda Borrow Box ebook app, and I'm counting it as such for AWW, because it's an extra, not one of the listed books. (I really must get on with reading those listed books, actually). I know Goddard grew up in the UK, and moved back to the UK, but she lived and worked in Australia for 15 to 20 years, and those were years when I watched her on Australian television, and although that's not a great reason for counting her as Australian, it's good enough for me right now.
I chose this book on a whim, but I'm really glad that I read it. It was difficult to read: because of what Goddard went through, because of the way she was treated by others, because of the difficulty of reading something so open and honest, especially where mental health is concerned. But not surprisingly, the things that make the book difficult to read are also the things that are most important about the story. The racism she experienced in Australia (have we really moved on at all since?) the stress she suffered and her ways of dealing (and not dealing) with it, and the consequences of that; it really is a narrative written for her UK audience, but even without that context, I valued the book and learned a lot from it.
It's the subject matter rather than the writing style that makes this difficult to read. The style itself tends towards the breezy, and there often seems to be a surface shallowness. But I think the breeziness belies a great deal of hurt for Goddard, and that skimming over the surface is the only way that the story was going to be told.
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