I read once that the human body slowly pushes shrapnel back out through the skin. That a shard of metal can take years to reach the surface and finally truly be expelled. Veterans get bits coming out of them decades after wars. Could the same thing happen to memories? Perhaps that was what I was feeling: an itchy, irksome thing, a foreign object inside me, moving just millimetres every year, tearing through me until it breached.
Okay. I’m going to admit something here that I rarely ever do. I bought this book during an Amazon sale because the cover was cool. Millennial pink, with a skull and a cicada (*see the footnotes for a theory on the meaning); it was ticking all my boxes. Even more amazing: I didn’t even read the cover to realise it was a memoir. Shock. Absolute horror. What a fortunate discovery to make: this book is as good as its cover.
Written by a former judge’s associate, this book is at once a powerful, self-reckoning story and a glimpse into the Australian legal system, particularly regarding sexual assault / harassment and women’s rights.
Bri discovers through her work that the countless cases featuring strong, brave women mirror her own.
She comes to learn that her own, hurtful past has never left her. More pertinent, is the fact she realises that dealing with her past is a crucial link to healing her future.
Trigger warning: this book deals with sexual assault, harassment and rape (including victims who are children).
There were tears. Lots of snot-inducing tears.
It’s not an easy read. This is no chick-lit light and breezy ‘summer reading’ book. Having said that, it’s so incredibly important to women the world over that I put it down as a must-must-must-read. Highly recommended.
*The cicada is a known Queensland inhabitant. They live underground for years, often forgotten or silent, but when they finally emerge they are loud and make a big impact. Because they shed their exoskeletons, they are also a symbol of rebirth. You’ll see the same placement of an insect (this time a death’s-head hawkmoth) over the mouth on the cover art of “Silence of the Lambs” the movie. “Silence of the Lambs” is about someone who kills overweight women then dumps their bodies.
Fable and Fizz would like to acknowledge the Whadjuck Noongar people as the traditional owners and continual custodians on the lands and waters this content is primarily written on. I pay respects to their Elders — past and present. This always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.