Monday, April 11, 2011
THIRD DEGREE BY TANIA ROXBOROGH
Ruth is eleven and the year is 1973. Back then New Zealand hospitals were regimented institutions where the Doctors and Matron were one step away from God and visitors, including parents, were allowed in for one strict hour, twice a day.
The story moves between Ruth as a nineteen year old, and her experiences in hospital. Long hidden emotions emerge, bringing with them unanswered questions: Why didn't her mother visit her? Why was Dad mad? And why did everyone get sick?
I had a long stay in hospital myself when I was eleven, and Tania's writing took me right back to the wards. As Ruth fell in love, faced her past and learnt to live with her scars, I was pulled along with her, feeling her pain, her joy and frustration. It's a story that will stay with me for a long time.