“Every family has secrets. Ours also has an award-winning biographer. My sister’s discoveries astonished me.” – Geraldine Brooks
Who can ever truly know their parents? He was a glamorous heart-throb, a famous American singer performing in front of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable and other stars at the Academy Awards. In the 1930s, his recording of ‘Hawaiian Paradise’ outsold those of Bing Crosby and Guy Lombardo. So how did he become an Australian infantryman, fighting alongside and performing for his fellow Diggers in Palestine, Beirut, Egypt and New Guinea? Why did he leave Hollywood and the ritziest hotels in America for a modest Californian bungalow in suburban Sydney? And what caused him to cease his endless drifting from one woman to another, one marriage to another, and settle with the love of his life?
She was a strong Aussie woman, a talented radio broadcaster and publicity agent. Why did she take a chance on this reckless vagabond and notorious womaniser? Seeking answers, Darleen Bungey turns her biographical skills on her own family, exploring her father’s multi-layered and at times tempestuous life with a truthful eye and loving heart.
“This memoir does maximum honour to the idea that each family is its own unique story.” Tom Keneally
“Bungey’s writing is as spellbinding and wondrous as the subject she has so bravely, forensically, gracefully explored.” – Trent Dalton
“Unexpected, sweet and raw.” – David Marr