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Daughter of the River Country

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From a victim of the 'stolen generations' comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival - and ultimately hope. Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will From a victim of the 'stolen generations' comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival - and ultimately hope. Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will take a trip and she will 'tell her a secret'. But before they get the chance, Val tragically dies. Abandoned by her adoptive father, Dianne is raped at the age of 15, sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home and later forced to marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. She goes on to endure horrific domestic violence at the hands of different partners, alcohol addiction and cruel betrayal by those closest to her. But amazingly her fighting spirit is not extinguished. At the age of 36, while raising six kids on her own, Dianne learns she is Aboriginal and that her great-grandfather was William Cooper, a famous Aboriginal activist. Miraculously she finds a way to forgive her traumatic past and becomes a leader in her own right, vowing to help other stolen people just like her.


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From a victim of the 'stolen generations' comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival - and ultimately hope. Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will From a victim of the 'stolen generations' comes a remarkable memoir of abuse, survival - and ultimately hope. Born in country NSW in the 1940s, baby Dianne is immediately taken from her Aboriginal mother. Raised in the era of the White Australia policy, Dianne grows up believing her adoptive Irish mother, Val, is her birth mother. Val promises Dianne that one day they will take a trip and she will 'tell her a secret'. But before they get the chance, Val tragically dies. Abandoned by her adoptive father, Dianne is raped at the age of 15, sentenced to Parramatta Girls Home and later forced to marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. She goes on to endure horrific domestic violence at the hands of different partners, alcohol addiction and cruel betrayal by those closest to her. But amazingly her fighting spirit is not extinguished. At the age of 36, while raising six kids on her own, Dianne learns she is Aboriginal and that her great-grandfather was William Cooper, a famous Aboriginal activist. Miraculously she finds a way to forgive her traumatic past and becomes a leader in her own right, vowing to help other stolen people just like her.

30 review for Daughter of the River Country

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer (JC-S)

    ‘Growing up, it seemed like we had a good life.’ Memoirs by members of the ‘stolen generations’ are always difficult to read. And they are especially uncomfortable to read when they involve abuse. Difficult and uncomfortable, but important. Why? Because if we ignore these memoirs we are ignoring (and denying) the pain caused. I know that we cannot change those experiences, but we can acknowledge their impact. Dianne was 36 years old before she learned she was Aboriginal. She had grown up believing ‘Growing up, it seemed like we had a good life.’ Memoirs by members of the ‘stolen generations’ are always difficult to read. And they are especially uncomfortable to read when they involve abuse. Difficult and uncomfortable, but important. Why? Because if we ignore these memoirs we are ignoring (and denying) the pain caused. I know that we cannot change those experiences, but we can acknowledge their impact. Dianne was 36 years old before she learned she was Aboriginal. She had grown up believing that her adoptive mother, Val, was her birth mother. While Val had promised Dianne that she would take her to Parkes when Dianne turned 15 and ‘tell her a secret’, she died three months before Dianne’s 15th birthday. Dianne was abandoned by her adoptive father, was raped, and sent to the Parramatta Girls Home. To keep her baby, she married her rapist. Twenty-one years later, raising six children on her own, Dianne learns that she is Aboriginal. Somehow, despite domestic abuse and alcohol addiction, Dianne managed to survive and has taken on a leadership role. Auntie Di was named NSW Grandparent of the Year in 2017. At the time, she was aged 71 and had 36 grandchildren and 56 great grandchildren. This is the memoir of an amazing woman and while I found it unbearably sad in parts, I finished it full of admiration for what Auntie Di has achieved. An inspirational memoir of courage, persistence and resilience. Jennifer Cameron-Smith

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sharah McConville

    Australian author Dianne O'Brien was a child of the Stolen Generations. In her memoir she recounts her horrific teenage years after the death of her (foster) Mother, and the subsequent abuse she received at the hands of the many men in her life. Parts of her life story are very confronting and yet Dianne has managed to overcome her past and is now a role model for disadvantaged First Nations people. This is a book that I think all Australians should try to get their hands on! Thanks to Better Re Australian author Dianne O'Brien was a child of the Stolen Generations. In her memoir she recounts her horrific teenage years after the death of her (foster) Mother, and the subsequent abuse she received at the hands of the many men in her life. Parts of her life story are very confronting and yet Dianne has managed to overcome her past and is now a role model for disadvantaged First Nations people. This is a book that I think all Australians should try to get their hands on! Thanks to Better Reading for my ARC of Daughter of the River Country.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First off, I wanted to mention that I don't usually read memoirs. However when I saw this title and read the blurb I felt instantly drawn to it, knowing that it was going to be an important Australian read. It's extremely tough to read in some sections and I found it impossible to put down. So much heartbreak in this book! It gave me a LOT to think about, and it covered some big issues in relation to (TW) the white Australia policy, young unmarried mothers, foster/adoption, addiction and child a First off, I wanted to mention that I don't usually read memoirs. However when I saw this title and read the blurb I felt instantly drawn to it, knowing that it was going to be an important Australian read. It's extremely tough to read in some sections and I found it impossible to put down. So much heartbreak in this book! It gave me a LOT to think about, and it covered some big issues in relation to (TW) the white Australia policy, young unmarried mothers, foster/adoption, addiction and child abuse. This memoir is about the life and struggles of Dianne O'Brien. (Aunty Di) As a baby, she was taken from her Aboriginal mother and adopted by a white couple. Di was never told about her heritage and could never understand comments about her darker features. After her adoptive mother dies, she is left with her hateful adoptive father and ultimately ends up pregnant and under the care of Parramatta girls home, where she is told she must marry her rapist in order to keep her baby. Throughout this book, there is heartbreak after heartbreak, continuing well into her adult years. However, there is also a strong survival element and I was cheering Di on as she developed and fought to become the strong leader that she is today. After I finished I actually had so much to think about that I didn't pick up another book for a few days while I really unpacked everything that I read. I highly recommend this memoir, but take note of the trigger warnings if they are relevant to you. Thank you to @echo_publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denise Newton

    https://denisenewtonwrites.com/?p=2913 I have nothing but admiration for Dianne O’Brien and her memoir sheds further light on what has often been a hidden part of Australia’s past. It is one of the growing number of books that allow Australians to learn, reflect and hopefully understand more about the experiences of First Nations communities. Daughter of the River Country Dianne O’Brien https://denisenewtonwrites.com/?p=2913 I have nothing but admiration for Dianne O’Brien and her memoir sheds further light on what has often been a hidden part of Australia’s past. It is one of the growing number of books that allow Australians to learn, reflect and hopefully understand more about the experiences of First Nations communities. Daughter of the River Country Dianne O’Brien

  5. 5 out of 5

    Underground Writers

    This review was first published on the Underground Writers website: http://underground-writers.org/review... Trigger warning: contains mention of sexual and physical abuse. Daughter of the River Country traces O’Brien’s life. It begins with her childhood memories of her adoptive Irish mother Val, who O’Brien believed was her birth mother. When Val dies suddenly, O’Brien is abandoned by her adoptive father and a series of heart-wrenching events are triggered. Though O’Brien always knew she was diff This review was first published on the Underground Writers website: http://underground-writers.org/review... Trigger warning: contains mention of sexual and physical abuse. Daughter of the River Country traces O’Brien’s life. It begins with her childhood memories of her adoptive Irish mother Val, who O’Brien believed was her birth mother. When Val dies suddenly, O’Brien is abandoned by her adoptive father and a series of heart-wrenching events are triggered. Though O’Brien always knew she was different to other children, she believed her darker skin was due to Italian, Irish, or African-American ancestry. It is only when she is 36 with six children of her own that O’Brien finds out she is Aboriginal. O’Brien is a victim of the Stolen Generations and was removed from her mother at birth. Dianne O’Brien is now the Chairperson of Mingaletta Corporation, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community hub. Throughout her career she has held several senior positions in government; inspired many through her work as a drug and alcohol counsellor; and was elected “NSW grandparent of the year” in 2017. Daughter of the River Country details how O’Brien was able to achieve such accomplishments despite a traumatic childhood. Condensing a lifetime as tumultuous and eventful as O’Brien’s into a novel is no small feat. After brief reflection on some rosy memories of childhood, this memoir quickly reaches full steam before hurtling to a finish. Its intensity is amplified by the fact that these are real events. As a result, the story-telling style is concise and does not linger too much on unimportant details. O’Brien does explore her feelings, but not in great depth, and I sometimes found her pragmatism in the face of unfortunate circumstances to be quite jarring. For example, she recounts being hit by her partner: “And he turned and whacked me across the face. The doctors called the police…Domestic violence, back then, was just an accepted part of a woman’s lot.” Upon reflection, I suppose this speaks to O’Brien’s innate strength – in these instances there was not time for her to explore her hurt and anger, she needed to be strong to protect her children. Though it can be difficult to read the abuse and violence described in this memoir, the reader is never left to dwell on it for too long. Partly because of the pragmatic tone of O’Brien’s voice and because she overcomes every difficulty sent her way. She takes every vice or act of cruelty against her and turns it into a positive for others, for example taking her own experience of abusing alcohol and later becoming a drug and alcohol counsellor. I was incredibly inspired by the continual strength and love for others expressed by O’Brien, even at the lowest points of her life. O’Brien gains her strength from family. Whether it is her adoptive mother, her children, or her biological sisters – her love for them is immensely clear. It was this love that propelled me through the reading. For readers that enjoy memoirs, learning about Aboriginal history, or first-person accounts involving overcoming adversity, Daughter of the River Country is the perfect book for you. The story-telling style makes it quick to read and the inspiring content makes every minute worth it. As the book’s subtitle says, it is truly a “memoir of hope and survival”.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    “Daughter of the River Country” is the memoir of a proud Yorta Yorta woman. It’s a fascinating and frequently sad accounting of a life blighted by domestic violence, bureaucratic cruelty, and discrimination. This is a memoir rather than an autobiography; it lacks the level of detail and comprehensiveness that I’d expect from an autobiography. Even so, it gives the reader a good sense of O’Brien’s life and times. In particular, this memoir will make you look uncomfortably at government policies a “Daughter of the River Country” is the memoir of a proud Yorta Yorta woman. It’s a fascinating and frequently sad accounting of a life blighted by domestic violence, bureaucratic cruelty, and discrimination. This is a memoir rather than an autobiography; it lacks the level of detail and comprehensiveness that I’d expect from an autobiography. Even so, it gives the reader a good sense of O’Brien’s life and times. In particular, this memoir will make you look uncomfortably at government policies around both Indigenous people and young women. The discrimination will make you flinch; the appalling treatment is shameful. It personalises history; it brings home the dreadful things that have been done within the lifetime of living people. This is not an overly emotive book; in fact, at times it feels almost dry, O’Brien’s recounting of horrific events is so matter of fact. I think this works to its’ overall benefit, however. If there was too much emotion around some of those events, this would be little more than a piece of misery lit. The matter of factness comes from perspective, from looking back over the years. It doesn’t diminish the horror, but makes it possible for the reader to look at these events head on. That matter of fact tone, a tendency to almost understate things, applies equally to the good things in O’Brien’s life. In particular, her achievements in adult life are something to boast about – but O’Brien doesn’t embroider them any more than she does her negative experiences. This is written in a simple, easy reading style that makes the challenges O’Brien faced easy for the reader to digest. This is no heavy tome, although there’s a great deal of depth to the issues raised. This is a personal story that shines a strong light on domestic violence, and on government policies that disadvantaged and damaged both Indigenous people and young women. It’s moving and capable of inspiring shame and anger. It also leaves you in awe of O’Brien – she has achieved things anyone could be proud of, and it’s breath-taking that she could achieve them in the face of the obstacles in her path. This is the story of an Indigenous woman who deserves to be celebrated. If you enjoyed this review, please visit www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog to read more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mercedes

    Some books are difficult to read. This was one of them, but not because it was bad, in fact, the complete opposite. To call this book beautiful is at odds with the violent subject matter and to call it shocking makes it sound far-fetched. Yet it was both beautiful and shocking, and so much more. It's the memoir of Dianne O'Brien, a Yorta Yorta woman who is stolen from her Aboriginal mother in the late 1940s and given to a white couple who raise her as a little white girl in the Sydney suburbs. Di Some books are difficult to read. This was one of them, but not because it was bad, in fact, the complete opposite. To call this book beautiful is at odds with the violent subject matter and to call it shocking makes it sound far-fetched. Yet it was both beautiful and shocking, and so much more. It's the memoir of Dianne O'Brien, a Yorta Yorta woman who is stolen from her Aboriginal mother in the late 1940s and given to a white couple who raise her as a little white girl in the Sydney suburbs. Dianne grows up not knowing she is Aboriginal but feeling like an outsider nonetheless. When her adoptive mother dies when Dianne is 14, her adoptive father abandons her and it sets off a series of shocking events which include rape (several times) institutionalisation in the brutal Parramatta Girls Home and decades of domestic abuse at the hands of just about every male that comes into Dianne's life. But she rises above every horrific event to not only survive, but to thrive. Along the way she discovers her true heritage, which includes legendary Aboriginal activist William Cooper. This book is not for the fainthearted, but who are we as readers to avert our sensibilities from a difficult subject that is a reality for so many? Dianne, or Aunty Di as she became known in her community, bravely recounts her life so that we may understand the hardships and inequalities that exist in our community. But you arrive at the end with a feeling of hope and joy because Dianne rises above all the horror in her life to be a leader and a healer in her community, guiding and supporting Aboriginal people in the areas of health, welfare, culture and education. As she says in the end, "...life had been very cruel in so many ways. But I'd survived and, despite the hardships, I'd never become bitter." This is a book about survival, about prevailing against the odds, about family and the bonds that tie, and about having your identity wrenched from you and about finding it again. And, despite the horror, it's ultimately a book about hope. I'm so glad I found this book (or rather, that it found me).

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brooke Alice (brookes.bookstagram)

    TW: childhood abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying, racism, inter generational trauma, stolen generation, death, suicide, alcohol use. Daughter of the River Country is the harrowing memoir of Aunty Di O’Brien. Forcibly removed from her mother as a newborn and raised in an Irish catholic family, Dianne doesn’t find out she’s adopted until her adoptive mother dies at 15, and doesn’t find out about her true story that she’s Aboriginal until age 29. This is an important story told by a member TW: childhood abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, bullying, racism, inter generational trauma, stolen generation, death, suicide, alcohol use. Daughter of the River Country is the harrowing memoir of Aunty Di O’Brien. Forcibly removed from her mother as a newborn and raised in an Irish catholic family, Dianne doesn’t find out she’s adopted until her adoptive mother dies at 15, and doesn’t find out about her true story that she’s Aboriginal until age 29. This is an important story told by a member of the stolen generation. This book is confronting. There is intergenerational trauma, history of ongoing childhood sexual abuse, multiple partners who engaged in significant family violence, alcohol use and multiple deaths within Dianne’s family that continued to tear her life apart. Aunty Di was able to push through all the unspeakable adversity, trauma and loss to be able to connect with her Yorta Yorta mob, connect to country and forge her path as an aspiring leader, working along side Aboriginal legal services, juvenile justice and drug and alcohol agencies. Later in life Aunty Di becomes a CEO, a cultural leader and NSW grandparent of the year. Aunty Di’s story is like so many others of the stolen generation, and it’s important for allies and non Aboriginal people to hear these stories. This is an absolutely remarkable true story of abuse, survival, connection and hope. I am truely blessed to have the opportunity to share Aunty Di’s story.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Terese

    Dianne’s memoir is a powerful, and at times deeply disturbing, read. It’s also an important story about the impact of the Stolen Generation, forced adoption, racism and the cycle of family violence (trigger warning). Essential reading for anyone who cares about our nation’s history. Forced to marry at 16 to prevent her child being removed, Diane emerges as a fierce protector of her six children. She faces many challenges but it is not until she is 36 that she learns she is a Yorta Yorta woman. He Dianne’s memoir is a powerful, and at times deeply disturbing, read. It’s also an important story about the impact of the Stolen Generation, forced adoption, racism and the cycle of family violence (trigger warning). Essential reading for anyone who cares about our nation’s history. Forced to marry at 16 to prevent her child being removed, Diane emerges as a fierce protector of her six children. She faces many challenges but it is not until she is 36 that she learns she is a Yorta Yorta woman. Her experience with police an the courts leads her to a job in legal services which is the springboard to her becoming a leader in the Aboriginal community. There were many times when Dianne could have given up, but she is a fighter. I loved the dedication to her long-dead mother Val ‘who if she had lived long enough .... would have been so proud.’ It’s a fitting tribute to Val; her love and values shaped Dianne’s resilience and capacity for hope. Thanks to Better Reading, the author and publisher for the opportunity to review this title.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Inconsistent

    In her memoir, Dianne O'Brien recounts her life story, overcoming rape, domestic violence, and alcoholism to become an inspiration for her local community. Adopted by white parents who keep this adoption a secret from her, Dianne struggles to find her true identity and feel like she truly fits in. I struggled emotionally to read this, but it is a beautiful story of overcoming. Dianne's account is heartfelt and sincere. She's honest with the reader about how she felt during these hard times in her In her memoir, Dianne O'Brien recounts her life story, overcoming rape, domestic violence, and alcoholism to become an inspiration for her local community. Adopted by white parents who keep this adoption a secret from her, Dianne struggles to find her true identity and feel like she truly fits in. I struggled emotionally to read this, but it is a beautiful story of overcoming. Dianne's account is heartfelt and sincere. She's honest with the reader about how she felt during these hard times in her life giving us a very personal look into her past. I can't fault this memoir, it's emotional and inspiring, and I'm thankful I read it as it allowed me to have a better understanding of what Indigenous Australians have to struggle with, from the perspective of someone with first hand experience. This book definitely isn't for the faint of heart and not everyone can cope with the graphic domestic violence, but I believe everyone who can should take the time to read this. It's an important story and unfortunately not an isolated case.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Renee Hermansen

    I truly admire Dianne O'Brien for her honest words throughout this memoir. At times it was very hard to read as her early life was horrific and for me I really felt for her and the choices she had to make. She showed strength all her life and spent so much time working for and helping anyone that needed her help. Her family was very important to her and to discover her heritage gave her a feeling of belonging she never had. I wish everyone could read this book as it is a real eye opener as to what I truly admire Dianne O'Brien for her honest words throughout this memoir. At times it was very hard to read as her early life was horrific and for me I really felt for her and the choices she had to make. She showed strength all her life and spent so much time working for and helping anyone that needed her help. Her family was very important to her and to discover her heritage gave her a feeling of belonging she never had. I wish everyone could read this book as it is a real eye opener as to what happened to the stolen generation. Thanks so much to Better Reading, Echo Publishing and of course Dianne O'Brien for my ARC of this great book to read and review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amanda E

    I can't think of words that describe how I felt as I read Dianne's words. From the first page to the last, you are confronted with a most harrowing recollection of the author's life. From childhood, teen age years, and through different stages of adulthood, I could not fathom even a little of what Dianne has been through, much less finding out she was adopted, taken from her rightful family and people. This is a book to read and learn from, to treasure and to teach. I thank Dianne for allowing I can't think of words that describe how I felt as I read Dianne's words. From the first page to the last, you are confronted with a most harrowing recollection of the author's life. From childhood, teen age years, and through different stages of adulthood, I could not fathom even a little of what Dianne has been through, much less finding out she was adopted, taken from her rightful family and people. This is a book to read and learn from, to treasure and to teach. I thank Dianne for allowing me to learn about her life journey and of the Yorta Yorta, and only a glimpse of what life was like for those of The Stolen Generation. A copy of Daughter of the River Country was provided by BetterReading in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    "Daughter of the River Country" by Dianne O'Brien is the remarkable story of Dianne's life as a child of the Stolen Generation. It tells of her work with the Indigenous community and finding out about her heritage. Dianne lived through some terrible traumas, yet managed to become remain an empathic, tireless and amazing woman, who has been recognised for her work. Easy to read, despite the harshness of her life. Highly recommended. Thank you to Better Reading for an advanced reading copy in excha "Daughter of the River Country" by Dianne O'Brien is the remarkable story of Dianne's life as a child of the Stolen Generation. It tells of her work with the Indigenous community and finding out about her heritage. Dianne lived through some terrible traumas, yet managed to become remain an empathic, tireless and amazing woman, who has been recognised for her work. Easy to read, despite the harshness of her life. Highly recommended. Thank you to Better Reading for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I can’t say this was an enjoyable or easy read but it was definitely a worthwhile read. This is a memoir of Dianne who was raised by a loving mother and abusive father, only to find out after the death of her beloved mother that she has been adopted. Dianne speaks about her quest to find out who she was and the joy of discovering her Aboriginal family. A member of the stolen generation, this book shows the impact that trauma has on people but also how resilient people can be and how helping othe I can’t say this was an enjoyable or easy read but it was definitely a worthwhile read. This is a memoir of Dianne who was raised by a loving mother and abusive father, only to find out after the death of her beloved mother that she has been adopted. Dianne speaks about her quest to find out who she was and the joy of discovering her Aboriginal family. A member of the stolen generation, this book shows the impact that trauma has on people but also how resilient people can be and how helping others can help heal yourself.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Megan Johnson

    I don't have the words to describe how hauntingly beautiful this book is. Dianne O'Brien is the most inspiring woman I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. I have no idea how one woman can put up with so much pain and misery in one lifetime, yet still have such a positive outlook and be able to help so many other people. This is one book that will stay with me forever. Thanks Better Reading and Echo Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I don't have the words to describe how hauntingly beautiful this book is. Dianne O'Brien is the most inspiring woman I have ever had the pleasure of reading about. I have no idea how one woman can put up with so much pain and misery in one lifetime, yet still have such a positive outlook and be able to help so many other people. This is one book that will stay with me forever. Thanks Better Reading and Echo Publishing for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin Baines

    To say I was captivated by this book was An understatement! It took me less than24hours to finish and I feel like I could start it again straight away. Dianne‘s story was one filled with pride, heartbreak, trauma and love. The way the book was written and her personality that shone from the pages made this book so incredible and I feel so lucky to have been able to experience her story. Dianne made such a incredible impact on her family and her community, what an amazing woman!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Marnie

    Aunty Di pulls no punches in her account of life as a baby of the stolen generation. Abandoned at 14 by her adoptive father and experiencing horrific violence from by people who should’ve been looking out for her, Aunty Di went on to discover who she was, find her place to belong and lead her community. I’m in awe of her strength and resilience.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Bridges

    The miraculous story of a victim of the stolen generation who survived against all odds and continues to work to help others. Heartbreakingly it highlights so many times Australian governments and society have failed or most vulnerable citizens.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Meek

    Touched my heart, amazing tolerance and fortitude, however nothing could take this ladies heart, her pride, love for her family and others. To overcome the abuse, from those she loved and the system, that would have destroyed others, is to be admired and respected

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen Murphy

    A wonderful insight to the history of the Stolen generation and one woman’s fight to find her origins and become the person wanted to be. Highly recommend

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Dianne O'Brien is an inspirational woman who has managed to survive some incredibly tough experiences. Dianne O'Brien is an inspirational woman who has managed to survive some incredibly tough experiences.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ryan

    A great read I read this book in four days and was amazed at the spirit and positive attitude that shines through when the story could so easily have ended differently

  23. 4 out of 5

    Samantha Sexton

    I stayed up so late last night to finish this! I loved it. Wow! What an amazing story from an amazing woman. Congratulations Dianne

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amy W

    The men Dianne was involved with were complete b*stards of course, but I'm always the most shocked and saddened at abuse (physical, mental, sexual) within children's home/care home settings. A complete betrayal of trust that should not be happening. It was so frustrating that Dianne just kept getting into bad situations. I get that she didn't have any real family or home to cling to and was very vulnerable as a young mum to several children (speaking of which, no one appears to have heard of con The men Dianne was involved with were complete b*stards of course, but I'm always the most shocked and saddened at abuse (physical, mental, sexual) within children's home/care home settings. A complete betrayal of trust that should not be happening. It was so frustrating that Dianne just kept getting into bad situations. I get that she didn't have any real family or home to cling to and was very vulnerable as a young mum to several children (speaking of which, no one appears to have heard of condoms in this book. Why keep bringing babies into an unstable and abusive home if you can help it?), but come on! One foul bloke after another. I think I'd just read too many misery memoirs in a row prior to picking this up, hence only 3 stars. They're not what you'd call enjoyable and it seems my patience had worn thin by the time I got to this. That said, I do wish this lady all the best. She's had a hard life with a lot of sorrow and tragedy and she's done some wonderful work for various communities and the troubled people within them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kristy Bartrop

  26. 5 out of 5

    Deretta Brown

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alanna

  28. 5 out of 5

    Books Above

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allyson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Roberts

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