Kali Napier's Reviews > What Will Be Worn: a McWhirters story

What Will Be Worn by Melissa Fagan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: aww2018

What Will be Worn is a personal memoir of living under the famous hoarding of the McWhirter name. Melissa Fagan's grandfather was once one of the most eligible bachelors in Brisbane, but lost his inheritance through gambling and other bad life choices. Melissa's mother Jill could still draw on the family's legacy enough to draw income for travels in the sixties; however, by the time Melissa came of age, she only had family myths and secrets, and questions of her identity. At one point, Melissa was a tour guide in SE Asia, and her memoir reflects her wandering eye.
The first stop for the reader along the journey is the famous McWhirters building in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, which she tells us is well-known to Brisbane-ites. As someone who has lived in Brisbane for 10 years, I don't know of the building, apart from the photographs in this memoir. I reflected on this and realised that after 10 years in one place, I have no stories inscribed in the landscape, no memories attached to street corners, or to buildings and dwellings. This is not the case for Melissa. This gorgeous memoir (with photos, which I always love) transverses Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Sydney, structured around the memories, stories, and people associated with these places. In this way, Melissa stitches together her grandmother's, her mother's and her story.
Highly recommended, and not just for readers familiar with Brisbane landmarks, but for those with an interest in what gets passed down and recycled through generations.
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Reading Progress

July 22, 2018 – Shelved
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
September 29, 2018 – Started Reading
September 29, 2018 –
page 53
September 29, 2018 –
page 123
October 1, 2018 – Shelved as: aww2018
October 1, 2018 – Finished Reading

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