STAFF REVIEW OF THE TRAUMA CLEANER BY SARAH KRASNOSTEIN BY OWNER NATASHA (Text Publishing) Sarah Krasnostein's The Trauma Cleaner has been widely acclaimed and nominated / awarded. I missed getting around to it last year during the hype but was so glad when one of our bookclubs selected it as their June read. And it is definitely deserving of all the accolades! It is an excellent portrayal of an ordinary local person and her extraordinary life. I loved how it went beyond the simple trauma cleaning story which I had thought would just be the focus, and instead cleverly wove these stories in amongst the real story - the life of Sandra Pankhurst. As a Melbourne person, I loved the connection to local areas, but was horrified by the early family abuse and then marvelled at how many roads and careers Sandra took when she left home such as working at a funeral home, in a hardware store and even for a time as a prostitute. The honesty and candor and her helpfulness at all times was a real highlight.
All of these roads were during Sandra's own sexual identity and orientation awareness and leading her to embark on transgender surgery at a time when it was still quite new, and done at great risk to the individual and also by the doctors putting their careers on the line. It was amazing to read how Sandra was married both as a man and as a woman and the impact on those around her. The final section dealing with the issue of disconnection was important in explaining Sandra's inability to see the impact on her ex wife and kids. I definitely felt sad for her abandoned children and found it understandable that one of them had not wanted to reconnect.
Sarah's investigation into the many varied trauma cleaning jobs (hoarding, death, murder, etc) and Sandra's workers was fascinating and I liked how they were dispersed throughout without judgement by Sandra or Sarah. It makes you feel empathy for people in these situations, and a little heartbroken to think there are such neglected / pained people in our own community. And also how these kinds of situations don't discriminate and can affect learned or wealthy people, not just the poor or uneducated.
It was appreciated that Sarah admitted to the limitations of recording ALL the facts as reliant on Sandra's unreliable memory, and also how Sarah pursued interviewing other key people from Sandra's past to fill in some of these gaps. Her commitment to researching thoroughly this process indicates it become more than just a story but a deep interest in the life of Sandra and those around her. And in this way it reminded me at times of the writing of Helen Garner.
What really made this book stand out, was not only the interwoven structure and the subject matter but also the beautiful and evocative writing. And even though I loved it on audiobook which was excellently read by Rachael Tidd (complete with deep gravelly voice for Sandra just as you'd imagine it would be), I would have loved to have underlined so many beautiful phrases because they so accurately pinpointed so many wonderful moments, and vignettes from a remarkable life. Highly recommended 9/10 #SarahKrasnostein #TheTraumaCleaner #staffbookreview #staffpick #truestory #aussieauthor #aussielife #transgender #traumacleaning #books #bookreview
Husband and wife Mark Neicho and Natasha Boyd opened Book Bonding in August 2007. After locations in Mt Alexander Road, Essendon and Keilor Road Niddrie, they returned to Essendon at 168 Buckley Street in July 2015.
In February 2013, they opened a second store in their hometown of Gisborne.
After four years operating in two locations, and with 10 years in the Moonee Valley area, Book Bonding owners Mark Neicho and Natasha Boyd decided to consolidate their energies and revert back to one store, thus having one central location at Gisborne for both their public and schools business.
Inviting and child friendly, Book Bonding has an interesting array of adult and kids’ books plus knowledgeable, passionate and helpful staff to help you find the right book or literary related non-book products.
With a strong passion for books and community, Book Bonding proudly hosts bookclubs, foodies groups, author events and VIP Member nights. In this way, we have become a vital contributor to the literary lifeblood of both Moonee Valley and the Macedon Ranges. We also offer expertise and assistance to surrounding schools within these council regions and as far as Hoppers Crossing to Greenvale.
Also sharing the book-love are the resident bookshop dogs, Chobe and Jasper (named after one of their fave novels Jasper Jones) who adore pats from all the book loving customers when they visit!
We look forward to chatting about books and assisting your needs when you next visit.
Read, Learn, Indulge. Our aim is to foster a place to not only bond with books but also with other fellow community members through a love of reading, learning and enjoyment. We want choosing books to be exciting, easy and rewarding!
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Simply put, once you spend $200 in store, you will receive a store credit of $20 to spend in store with no time limits, this is effectively 10% discount off books.
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