Boy, Lost – a compelling memoir

April 5, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Posted in Australian memoir, Kristina Olsson | Leave a comment

Boy,LostCroppedJPGBoy, Lost (University of Queensland Press, 2013) is a fascinating and compelling memoir by Kristina Olsson and her luminous prose elevates it to an even higher level. This book feels transcendent with a mother’s love. The author gains profound insight on her journey to trace the steps of her mother and of her lost brother, and she shares these with her readers in a gripping narrative.

As Yvonne, the author’s mother, boarded a train on Cairns railway station in 1950, attempting to escape from a brutal marriage, her abusive husband appeared and snatched her baby son Peter from her arms.

Later the authorities persuaded Yvonne that the boy was better off with his father and that in any case, as a deserting wife, she had no rights, nor any means of financial support. Yvonne was pregnant with a second child when she escaped. Some months later, Peter’s sister (the author’s older half-sister) is born ‘to a mother already grieving the things she cannot give her: a father, a brother, a home.’ (p. 68)

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