ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Some life stories leave you wondering how the writer actually managed to survive their past. This memoir is of that sort, and by the end of it you can't help feeling both horror at O'Brien's story and pure admiration that she not only survived a series of events that would have felled most people, but came through with a dignity and courage that is hard-won and much deserved. Her beloved mother died when she was a child, her father not only abandoned her but put her in active moral danger. She fell pregnant, aged 15, to a rapist, and was forced to marry him to keep her much-wanted child. She has more children, has other abusive partners, goes through things no mother ever should - and in her 30s discovers that she is a Yorta Yorta woman. Gradually she reinvents herself from passive victim to active campaigner for disadvantaged people in her community. A harrowing tale, simply told with no self-pity, but ultimately one of resilience and strength. Lindy
Dianne O'Brien (known as Auntie Di) is currently the Chairperson of Mingaletta Corporation, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community hub. In 2017, she was named 'NSW Grandparent of the Year'. She has held many senior positions in government organisations and has also worked in legal services and as a drug and alcohol counsellor. She lives on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia.