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Book review: Reckoning by Magda Szubanski

I’m not usually drawn to memoirs, but I’d heard such good reports about Magda Szubanski’s Reckoning that I happily picked it up when I saw it was available at the library. I was not disappointed.

While the story of Szubanski’s life would be engaging in itself, in her memoir she also explores that of her father, who was an assassin in Poland during World War II. This experience shaped him and his approach to his children.

It is fascinating to see an entirely different side of an Australian celebrity who is so well-loved for her jovial presence in comedy shows, most recently Kath and Kim. This book reveals a more complex person than most Australians know, which was hinted at in her presence in the recent marriage equality campaign, in which she played a powerful role.

Reckoning reveals the different battles she faced in her rise to this position of influence, both with her family history and her own demons. It is thoughtful, illuminating and written with skill and heart.

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