“I was made in Coffee Bay. Right there on the beach, in the sand.” So begins the story of a childhood marked by more than a fair share of tragedy and harshness. Adopted into a middleclass family soon after birth, Suzan Hackney describes her formative years with an adoptive mother who, carrying her own set of demons, takes an instant dislike to her. A dislike that never wanes and that finds expression in the author’s poignant phrase, ‘Every Single Thing I Do Is Wrong’. No wonder Suzan, desperate for her mother’s favour but never receiving it, rebels at an early age. Reaching her teens, she’s admitted to unforgiving reformatories and so-called ‘Places of Safety’ where, by all accounts, conditions and attitudes do little to help troubled children. Yet, Suzan’s irrepressible nature and her compassion for fellow ‘inmates’ help her deal with the deprivations. It’s a gripping, frank, brilliantly written account that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it.
Author: Suzan Hackney Reviewer: Andrea Abbott
Publisher: Jonathan Ball ISBN: 978-1-86842-872-4
Price: R250 Giveaway Code: TSK