Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan is one of those refreshingly honest books that you pick up and think to yourself, “Wow, things could be worse.” It also makes you realise that human beings are capable of pushing through just about any kind of adversity imaginable, coming out the other side with a fresh outlook and appreciation for the life that we are given.
After a 25 year career in journalism (including newspaper, radio and editing some of the top women’s magazines in Australia), Susan woke up one morning and simply could not get out of bed. This morning was 18 months after the death of both her husband and her brother, within three days of each other – her husband from a brain tumor and her brother from cancer. On this morning, Susan decided that she needed a sea change and began by resigning from the job which had been the only stable thing in her life since the deaths of her loved ones. Her newly found freedom took her to the home of some friends who lived on Pittwater, near Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Introduced to a tight knit community of people who lived in homes that were only accessible by boat, Susan gradually began to rediscover herself and her life, and to slowly get over the death of the two most important people in her life. However life was not meant to be an easy ride, made apparent on the morning Susan found a lump on her breast…
Susan writes with an honest and open narrative and I found myself laughing out loud on the train at some points and crying copius amounts of tears on the couch at others. I was constantly in awe of this amazing woman – it’s not every day that you lose the two people in the world you are closest to withing days of each other, then discover a short time later that you too have cancer. This book is testimony to not only this woman’s amazing strength and courage, but also to all those other people whose lives have been touched by not only cancer, but depression in one way or another.
There is a lesson for everyone in this book – make the most of your life and focus on the good times. If we live our lifes by dwelling on the bad and wondering what we could have done differently on a certain day, then we will not be able to enjoy the days that we have and may not recognise some good things when they happen. In the grand scheme of things, we don’t live for a long time, so why waste the days we have?
RATING – 8 out of 10. It dragged a little bit in some parts, but overall was wonderfully written and entertaining.
WHO SHOULD READ IT – Really? Everyone. It’s one of those books that I think people should read, to help them realise just how numbered our days really are and that we should live each day like it’s our last (a real cliche, right?). It’s not a girly book by any means, but more a story of survival.
WHO YOU’LL LOVE – Well Susan obviously, but Barbara will certainly get you thinking about things.
FAVOURITE QUOTE – Too many to pick just one. There are lots of great sentimental stories about her childhood which I really loved – these were usually the ones that made me laugh out loud on the train. Yes, people stared at me.