Guy Salvidge's review Sep 26, 12
Read in September, 2012
Suzanne Covich's memoir is about growing up in a run down and feral part of Australia in the sixties. I'm used to reading grim stories so I wasn't bothered by the subject matter - which in this case is an abusive family and a candidate for World's Worst Father - but it is a bit different when you know that it's not fiction. Anyway, When We Remember They Call Us Liars is written in a punchy, engaging style, and I ripped through the book in less than two days, so it's very readable. Some of the scenes of sordid domestic abuse are harrowing indeed, and it's a testament to this author that she is able to 'write through' these painful memories and transform them into gripping prose. Having met Suzanne Covich recently at a couple of writerly events in Northam, I can see that this book and its author share many characteristics - they are both feisty, fast moving, challenging and inspiring. Covich's tale is ultimately an uplifting one, ending on a note of hope for the future, and the author's subsequent life story only reinforces this. Highly recommended. For further reading, I haven't read a large number of 'abuse memoirs' but one that springs to mind, and one that is close to my heart and shares some similarities with Covich's book is A Childhood: The Biography of a Place by Harry Crews.