Maxine Clarke is smart, she has a few good friends, great parents and siblings so surely her childhood and adolescence would be a breeze, she has so much going for her! But, growing up is filled with challenges and obstacles. Hormones, social cliques, peer pressure – it is all hard. Maxine shares her memoir, growing up in Sydney with all the typical challenges that we all remember growing up…. instead Maxine is also subjected to racism. Every single day. Now you might be thinking what I thought, ‘what time is this story set?’ The shocking aspect of Maxine’s story is that it’s now. Maxine grew up in the 80s and even now as a grown woman she still gets the odd comment as she walks the streets of suburban Australia to take her child to school.
This memoir is beautifully written and as the reader you are on a journey with Maxine the whole way though. It’s touching, funny, heartbreaking and paints an honest picture of how the power of words and actions can truly break and affect another person. I implore you to read this brilliant novel and do so with a box of tissues close by.
Maxine’s story is one that needs to be shared, so that as a society we can take pause and realise that collectively we are all the same. We are all one race – the human race and that it is time for discrimination, inequality and racism to be done with. In her memoir Maxine mentions and quotes Martin Luther King Jr and his dream that ‘children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’ It saddens me that we aren’t quite there yet, but I can still hope and dream that one day we’ll get there.