In this memoir, Susan Duncan reaches an age where there’s no point in sweating long-term ramifications. There aren’t any. This new understanding delivers an unexpected bonus – the emotional freedom and moral clarity to admit to hidden and often fiendish facts of ageing and, ultimately, to find ways to embrace them.
It also unleashes an overwhelming desire to confront her intractable 94-year-old mother with the dreadful secrets of the past before it is too late, no matter the consequences. It is the not-knowing, she says, that does untold damage.
Interwoven with stories from the land – building a fully sustainable eco-house in the mid-coast of NSW with her engineer husband Bob, and grappling with white-eyed roans, dogs, bawling cattle markets, droughts and flooding rains, not to mention blunt-speaking locals – this is a book about a mother and daughter coming to terms, however uneasy, with the awful forces that shaped their relationship.
As the inconstancies of age slow her down, Susan Duncan writes with honesty about discovery and forgiveness and what it takes to rework shrinking boundaries into a new and rich life.