Incest: Shhh, Keep it in the family

Yasmine Bonner
Incest: Shhh, Keep it in the family

Reviewed by Sarah Gardiner

Stories of family dysfunction are, for some, new information. For others, reading Yasmine’s story will give the feeling of not being alone. Even the cover of this book contributes to its meaning: the face of a young girl with the title printed over her mouth. Silenced. The young girl is in fact Yasmine, herself, at eighteen years of age when she started writing her book.

Yasmine Bonner’s writing, so the blurb on the back tells us, is ‘straight-forward and sharp-shooting’. I agree. In fact the strength of the book is the matter of fact style. It is writing that reinforces the reality of her tale.

Yasmine’s story is of the horrors of her early life. These horrors kept happening, seemed expected of her and her story was invalidated. This is what other incest victims experience. This book also tells about cultural denial.

I read the ‘good’ bits of Yasmine’s life with interest. I got a real sense of place, the feel of her home. There are evocative descriptions of young girlhood, school life and friends as she grows through her teenage years. Her life in Perth with many sisters, and the later addition of two brothers, is fun.

I read of Yasmine’s confusion. Her subsequent behaviour led her to being labelled a ‘troublemaker’.

A difficult time from her early childhood through to her eventual escape from her father.

This year Yasmine and her husband moved to their property in Brogo. Apparently Yasmine is a keen gardener (she and her husband are about to plant 400kg of garlic!) and enjoys her beloved Shetland dogs. She published her book in 2015. The book is available online through Amazon.