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Autobiographies aren’t for everyone, but this one ticks all the boxes as a read that anyone can enjoy – if not for the life lived, then for his masterful writing. You can’t go wrong with it – Russo is local, he’s real, and there’s nothing like seeing Adelaide through someone else’s eyes.

Peter Goers OAM, ABC Radio Night time presenter.

A fascinating story of immigration, redemption, love, grief and solitude.

Andrea Bowe, Adeleadide South Australia

I Love reading about peoples lives and the events that shaped them.This autobiography is an interesting and courageous story.

“Being Vincent’s editor for this book was truly a special experience. Vincent’s words poured from him and his story was so moving on so many levels. Mainly, I am in awe of Vincent for his determination and good humour throughout his life, to carry on, challenge after challenge. He is an inspiration and his book will lift your spirits!”

Julie Gray

Peter Goers OAM, ABC Radio Night time presenter.

A fascinating story of immigration, redemption, love, grief and solitude.

Book Therapy

A touching memoir and migrant story by Russo who lost his wife to cancer (ocular melanoma, a cancer of the eye). Russo uses his writing to connect with her, promising her the completion of his memoir, a story that must be told. Accurately narrated, he outlines his life starting out in a little village in Lazio, Italy and ending in Australia. Russo mourns a difficult life, a struggle that began with his mother’s suffering, who, at 31 years old was widowed with five children and miraculously immigrated to Australia. On arriving in Australia, the whole family was separated. Russo grew up in a Roman Catholic orphanage however was reunited with his family and siblings in 1963 during the time of President Kennedy’s death. Russo battles with alcoholism and depression. With a keen interest in psychology and social work Russo seeks counselling to overcome his depression, his anxiety and face the difficulties of modern life. His wife, a social worker, is a huge support and perhaps the greatest influence on his life. This is Russo’s bibliotherapy as he grieves for his wife, the loss he excruciatingly endures everyday and the disappointment he feels with the world. Weaved into the narrative is also a mini-history of Australia and the wider world with details of different political events, spanning the twentieth century and the earlier decades of the twenty-first. He clutches for hope in writing, in literature and in Chinese philosophy. A proverb that struck me whilst reading: “If there is light in the soul then there will be beauty in the person and if there is beauty in the person then there will be harmony in the home and if there is harmony in the home then there will be order in the nation and if there is order in the nation then there will be peace in the world”. The book is filled with beautiful quotes making you pause and reflect on life. Overall, a heartfelt memoir with honest and harrowing reflections on the daily struggles of life, akin to Karl Ove Knausgaard’s six-part series, “The Struggle. Reviewed by Bijah Shah

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