Maja is back for another #virtualbookclub review of memoirs and novels written about or by extraordinary women. Check out her last reviews of A Gentleman in Moscow, Where The Crawdads Sing and Mythos. This week’s content focuses on Becoming, Bruny and The Trauma Cleaner. Keep scrolling for some delectable insight into these great works.
BECOMING A MEMOIR BY MICHELLE OBAMA
Michelle is often faced with the troublesome concept of 21st century gender equality and the patriarchal values that still exist everywhere. She is candidly honest when sharing her thoughts about her changing roles and navigating her way through those changes. She admits she clearly understood her role often was simply to make her ‘husband look good’. It’s a dignified book with a positive tale where many political books are not. However even though the book mostly takes the’ high moral ground’ with no mudslinging her genuine dislike for politics is impossible to avoid, she does allow herself to question and disparage the political process itself. One of her mantra’s was “When they go low, we go high.” I would suggest a great one to follow. I found it refreshingly honest and written using her words with her warmth shining through. I listened to this book which the author reads and that added a ‘wholesomeness’ to it.
BRUNY BY HEATHER ROSE
Bruny is an easy read novel released in October 2019, written by an award winning Tasmanian author about Tasmania. She describes it as” part political thriller, part satire, part love story, part family story”. It often feels like the author is standing on her own soapbox using the main characters to discuss many issues, that as an Australian I did relate to. These include the rise of populism, suppression of the ability to protest, foreign workers, climate change, religious extremism, social inequality and foreign investment in Australia, particularly Chinese "chequebook colonialism". However, I think that is one of the book's problems, it tries to cover too much and this detracts from the story flow and character development. I don’t know if Heather Rose is clairvoyant but it also touches on a scandal based around a cruise ship being allowed to dock in Hobart with sick people on board, COVID was not part of our world then.
At first glance some of what she suggests seems improbable but then as a reader I was left with lingering thoughts that really, maybe this was not too far removed from our future (1984 revisited). If you are a conspiratory theorist don’t read this as you’ll never sleep again. I didn’t find it a gripping read but the novel certainly provides ‘food for thought’ that the Australian community should be discussing. For those who haven’t been to Bruny Island I hope will give them inspiration to go there as it really is a unique beautiful part of the world with amazing scenery and great food and wine although you will then become another tourist that Rose complains about. I can’t wait for the rest of my family to read this book so we can discuss the broad issues it raises around the dinner table (via Zoom).
THE TRAUMA CLEANER : ONE WOMAN'S EXTRAORDINARY LIFE IN DEATH, DECAY & DISASTER, A BOOK BY SARAH KRASNOSTEIN
Have any great book recommendations for the Monte & Lou community? Leave a comment below! Stay tuned for more content in our #HOLIDAYATHOME series.