Biff Ward’s In My Mother’s Hands

My Uncle Jonathan is a prolific blogger and book reviewer. This book, and his review, were too good not to share.

Me fail? I fly!

Biff Ward, In My Mother’s Hands (Allen & Unwin 2014)

1743319118When my Book Group were picking our next book, someone asked about In My Mother’s Hands, which was on my teetering to-be-read pile. ‘It’s a misery memoir,’ I said, and we moved on to other possibilities

I was wrong. There’s misery in it, but there’s a lot else. Biff Ward, born in the early 1940s. gives us a lovingly detailed portrait of family life in suburban, regional and Canberran Australia. Early in the book, she describes how her mother would wash her hair when she was little:

She began by folding a towel around my neck in an efficient, nurse-like manner to stop drips and breakaway runnels creeping down in my neck. The water was a delicious, perfect temperature and it streamed over me. She believed in rubbing the scalp with her strong fingers, making sure not even a tiny spot was missed…

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