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Velocity: A Memoir by Mandy Sayer

Velocity: A Memoir

by Mandy Sayer

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Mandy Sayer's memoir of her difficult and dysfunctional childhood and adolescence is remarkable for the way she recounts traumatic episodes with such distance, almost as though she is the observer, watching her family destroy themselves and each other. And, indeed, to survive the maelstrom of the violence and alcoholism all around her, it was probably necessary to shield herself, to erect some defences and become the observer/writer that she clearly does so well.
That she and her siblings were abused and neglected emotionally and physically is clear but she is remarkably free from bitterness and criticism - I have not read "Dreamtime Alice" which although written before this book, takes up her story where "Velocity" finishes, in her late teens. Perhaps she has had therapy to help her reach this stage of acceptance; or perhaps writing about her childhood has exorcised some of her demons.
As a social worker from Sydney where the book is largely set, and who has unfortunately seen many such dysfunctional families, I salute Mandy Sayers for expressing so eloquently what so many damaged and destroyed people are not able to. And for demonstrating that there is always help, and hope. ( )
  michelebel | Jan 30, 2009 |
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Tells the story of Mandy Sayer's childhood and adolescence, a life lived on the edges - of society, of poverty, of certainty, of love, as seen through a child's eyes - a child who gradually comes to realise her adored parents are all too tragically flawed and broken.… (more)

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