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Alannah Hill, one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, created an international fashion brand that defied trends with ornamental, sophisticated elegance, beads, bows and vintage florals. But growing up in a milk bar in Tasmania, Alannah’s childhood was one of hardship, fear and abuse. At an early age she ran away from home with eight suitcases of costumes and a fierce determination to succeed, haunted by her mother’s refrain of ‘you’ll never amount to anything, you can’t sew, nobody likes you and you’re going to end up in a shallow grave, dear!’
At the height of her success, Alannah walked the razor’s edge between two identities - the ‘good’ Alannah and the ‘mongrel bastard’ Alannah. Who was the real Alannah Hill? Reprieve came in the form of a baby boy and the realisation that becoming a mother not only changes your life but completely refurbishes it forever.
Yet 'having it all' turned out to be another illusion. In 2013 Alannah walked away from her eponymous brand, a departure that left her coming apart at the seams. She slowly came to understand the only way she could move forward was to go back. At the heart of it all was her mother, whose loveless marriage and disappointment in life had a powerful and long-lasting effect on her daughter. It was finally time to call a truce with the past.
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Think carefully what you want to get from this!
The reason I say this is the mixed reviews I read before purchasing, which left me unsure what I would get with this audio-book.
I decided to go ahead as I was captivated by the narration in the sample, the wit and humor of Alannah giving our first insight into the role her mother played in her life.
I understand some of the negative comments relating to how this doesn't really give much detail about Alannah's business ventures and rise to fame as a fashion designer.
However, for me that wasn't important. I'm generally much more interested in what makes us who we are. This story is very much the story through the self centered eyes of a victim. One who has good reason to feel the world and her upbringing was set against her. but I can understand some don't like the self pity that comes across in this, and at times, many times, i found it frustrating when I wanted Alannah to just finally get over the lack of support and positive guidance from her family and look at herself and what she was accomplishing and be proud and stand alone.
Anyway. I found it an interesting story about a broken child who never really recovered from a troubled childhood, perhaps until the near end.
I really enjoyed Alannah's narration and fun and sadness, all the emotion of the moment and I really felt it was her mother talking when she would mimic the voice and, usually negative comments from her mother.
Perhaps some would like to never hear Alannah's voice again, but for me I will miss not hearing her as I became very attached to having her in my life.
Take care, "dear reader" and be kind to yourself and those who are close to you, try to find it in your heart to forgive your inner child for whatever behaviors you are not proud of our even ashamed of from your past. you owe yourself that much.
Thanks Alannah and all the best -x-
A wonderfully written honest, heartbreaking life story with humor. Narrated by the author herself, this is the ultimate backstory behind the glitz and glamour of the Australian fashion world.