Reckoning by comedian and actor, Magda Szubanski (especially remembered as Sharon in the ABC’s, Kath and Kim), is a stark reminder of the horrors of WWII and Nazi occupation of many parts of Europe, including her father’s homeland, Poland. Magda provides insights into many aspects of life, ranging from her father’s experiences of being “an assassin” during the war as he helped Jewish people escape Nazis as well as her mother’s Scottish heritage and the family’s life in Scotland before coming to 1960s Australia where they settled into a new, outer Melbourne suburb (Croydon). Whether sharing stories of her inner-most thoughts and anxieties and oft-fraught teenage years struggling with identity (‘a convent girl during the week and a pretend sharpie on the weekends’), travels to Poland, meeting long-lost relatives, breaking the news to her parents about dropping out of university, and later telling them about being gay, or of the many friends and colleagues and experiences in her personal and professional life, Magda’s interesting stories and graphic and vivid descriptions make the book hard to put down. Renowned author, Christos Tsiolkas described her language as eloquent and moving.
Hardly surprisingly, Reckoning won many awards, including the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award.