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Disturbing attitude regarding the father's abusive behaviour.
on 26 December 2015
A very easy book to read, very detailed recounting of the Nolan's rise to fame which will satisfy fans but what really disturbed me was her attitude towards her dad, Tommy, as an abusive husband and father. Bernie has an apologist approach to the issue of her father's appalling cruelty - he beat his wife because he never wanted to be a family man, he felt trapped, he was unhappy, blah blah blah. As for her father's sexual abuse of elder sister Anne, Bernie is more bothered about her speaking out about her experience than anything else and goes so far as to proclaim her love for her father because she shared a 'bond' with him. There's just an unnerving acceptance of what he did to her mother and sister that did not sit well with me...there's a very clear message of 'I cant criticise him because he was good to me'. Bernie's courage in the face of terminal illness is admirable however her drive to to keep working and spending time away from home in pantos and shows when she was on such limited time is strange, most people would be looking to spend as much time as possible with their loved ones rather than working. I sensed a selfish streak in Bernie with regards to her career, so much time away from home leaving her child to be raised almost exclusively by her father and her constant self-praise of 'I'm a professional; I have a very strong work ethic; My voice is everything to me' left me at times feeling rather annoyed with her to be honest. I am left with an impression of a woman who was more than a little selfish about her own needs and wants which, I guess, came from being near the youngest in such a large family. I felt she owed her ailing mother a lot more of her time than the little she gave her - there's again a sense of Bernie preferring things to do with her mother being swept under the rug rather than faced full on and, having read this book, I have to say it is her mother's story which really overshadowed Bernie's. Her mother deserved a lot better than what she got from a very hard and often painful life.