Non-Fiction · HarperColins
Winner of the Varuna HarperCollins Award
Imagine you grew up in a stict Baptist home where cooking on Sunday was forbidden and where a woman was considered to have no future other than to be her husbands helpmeet. What if you refused to accept your God given place, and ran away with a heroin addict. Imagine just as you were found your one true love everything you had ever dreamt of could be snatched away.
“Her Story, which she thought would only be read by her kids is absolutely compelling” – Sunday Herald Sun
One of the best books of the year.
Neal’s narrative voice is neither pedestrian nor sensationalist. It is direct yet subtle and finely balanced. The voice is neither too niave nor too knowing. It is at once intimate and polished.
Her story which she orriginally thought would only be read by her kids is absolutely compelling.
I was told by a doctor I had a 20 percent chance of surviving the next 3 months of my life. My baby was just three years old. I knew if I died she wouldn’t remember me.
We had just got our first ever computer. So in between chemo and surgeries and radiation I furiously wrote what I hoped would be an honest, raw account of my life so my children would know not so much what I did or who I met but who I was, why I was the way I was. I thought if I shared my survival story it might give them strength for the difficulties they may face in life. But most of all I wanted it to be interesting and fun to read – to be a story more than a memoir.
When I began writing I never expected it to be read by anyone. In a spur of the moment thing I sent 12,000 words off to the Varuna HarperCollins Manuscript Award and Sunday Best was one of the winners – It was like winning Australian Literary Idol.