‘Every family has secrets. Ours also has an award-winning biographer. My sister’s discoveries astonished me.’ Geraldine Brooks
Who can ever truly know their parents?
He was a glamorous heart-throb, a famous American singer performing at the Academy Awards in front of Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Clarke Cable and other stars. In the 1930s, his records were outselling Bing Crosby’s. So how did he become an Australian infantryman, fighting alongside and performing for his fellow Diggers in Palestine, Beirut, Egypt and New Guinea? Why did he leave Hollywood and the ritziest hotels in California for a modest Californian bungalow in suburban Sydney? And what caused him to cease his endless drifting from one woman to another, one marriage to another, and settle with the love of his life?
She was a strong Aussie woman, a talented radio broadcaster and publicity agent. Why did she take a chance on this reckless vagabond and notorious womaniser? Seeking answers, Darleen Bungey turns her forensic skills on her own family, exploring her father’s multi-layered and at times tempestuous life with a truthful eye and loving heart.
‘This memoir does maximum honour to the idea that each family is its own unique story. And in the case of Darleen Bungey, the tale she tells of Robert Cutter/ Lawrence Brooks, her father, is a charming and engrossing record of an exuberant, gifted, contradictory and brave man whose nationality was as varied as his gifts and who kept his daughters enriched and fascinated to the end. In an era of catastrophic family confessions, it reads like silk.’ Tom Keneally
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