Winner, Book of the Year and Biography of the Year, Australian Book Industry Awards, 2016
Heartbreaking, joyous, traumatic, intimate and revelatory, Reckoning is the book where Magda Szubanski, one of Australia’s most beloved performers, tells her story.
In this extraordinary memoir, Magda describes her journey of self-discovery from a suburban childhood, haunted by the demons of her father’s espionage activities in wartime Poland and by her secret awareness of her sexuality, to the complex dramas of adulthood and her need to find out the truth about herself and her family. With courage and compassion she addresses her own frailties and fears, and asks the big questions about life, about the shadows we inherit and the gifts we pass on.
Honest, poignant, utterly captivating, Reckoning announces the arrival of a fearless writer and natural storyteller. It will touch the lives of its readers.
Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s best known and most loved performers. She began her career in university revues, then appeared in a number of sketch comedy shows before creating the iconic character of Sharon Strzelecki in ABC-TV’s Kath and Kim. She has also acted in films (Babe, Babe: Pig in the City, Happy Feet, The Golden Compass) and stage shows. Reckoning is her first book.
Publisher: Text Publishing
Publication date: September 23rd 2015
This book was probably one of the most hyped books of 2016. It appeared that everyone who read this book, on the whole, only had great things to say about it so when I went to read it for book club I was really looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about.
Extremely detailed (perhaps too detailed at times) account of Magda’s life although the focus seemed to be way more on her father rather than herself leaving the reader wondering whether the book was about Magda’s dad rather than herself. Throughout the vast majority of the story Magda’s mother appeared to only be mentioned in passing. The relationship between Magda and her mother was confusing to me. Magda portrayed her mother as a harsh, almost unforgiving, woman. I questioned whether this was due to Magda’s mother’s upbringing or had she been toughened by the wars. I wondered whether underneath the story ran a desire to gain approval from her Father, as if she felt he thought her to be a disappointment.
The extreme detail and possibly unnecessary wordiness meant this book was extremely hard to get into added to the fact that autobiographies I read are of people I really want to find out more about. Magda on the other hand, whilst I admire her achievements and acknowledge that she has overcome many personal battles of her own, I feel I know all I want to know about her so I wasn’t overly invested in her story.
I did like the fact that there were many places that she mentioned which I am familiar with due to my family having relations who lived there or places we visited when I was a little girl. Places included, Croydon, Kilsyth, Montrose, Calder Hwy, Cohuna, Echuca, Kerang, and Swan Hill. She also mentioned The Brady Bunch which was a series that I had watched as a young girl.
Recommend for: Adults