Daddy, We Hardly Knew You

Germaine Greer, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (311p) ISBN 978-0-394-58313-6
Greer's father, an Australian intelligence officer, left for WW II when she was only four. His cavalier pose concealed a family secret revealed in the closing section of this poignant memoir by the author of The Female Eunuch . Reg Greer came back from the war an anxiety-ridden, emotionally distant wreck. His daughter's later need to reconnect with him and her genealogical roots involved coming to terms with her craving for the love he never gave her. Though the narrative suffers from purple-hued padding, self-dramatization and a glaring dearth of factual evidence about her father's adult life, it's worth sticking with for the surprising finale, when Greer discovers his true identity and, in so doing, faces her own feelings of loss, love, regret and anger. The deeply affecting climax is a remarkable feat of family reconstruction. Along the way Greer files discerning observations of Australia's people and ecology, of war, and of Tasmania, India and Malta, where she traveled in search of ``Daddy.'' (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/30/1990
Release date: 02/01/1990
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-449-90561-6
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