Maree Kimberley's Reviews > Bittersweet Journey

Bittersweet Journey by Ruth Hegarty
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Ruth Hegarty's Is That You Ruthie? was one of the first books published giving a personal account of growing up as one of Australia's Stolen Generations. Bittersweet Journey is the sequel to that book, and cover's the years of Ruth's life from her early twenties, when she married and left Cherbourg dormitory, to her late sixties.

Hegarty's writing style is simple and straightforward, which highlights many of the harsh realities of her life in a direct, no nonsense manner. Walk a few miles with your suitcase to the hospital while you're in labour? She did it, so did most of the women who lived in Cherbourg mission. She bore beatings from her husband in silence. She worked and scrimped and saved to get the basic household necessities, looking after the household budget with an eagle eye. Later in life she stepped in to care for her grandchildren when their mother wasn't able. She was instrumental in starting the first kindy for Aboriginal children in Brisbane. She achieved all this and more with a quiet dignity.

This is a story of strength and resilience told without fanfare. I read through it in a few days, picking it up whenever I had a spare moment and finding it hard to put down again. I find there are more than a few memoirs out there where the writers are making a lot of drama out of very little. In contrast, Hegarty downplays the drama, and her straightforward storytelling lets the events speak for themselves. She is a remarkable woman, and this is a great story. Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 29, 2013 – Shelved
October 25, 2013 – Shelved as: aww2013

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