Annabet and her younger brother Anders grew up in idyllic surrounds on the lower north shore of Sydney, living in the original Balmoral boatshed. However, nothing was as it seemed, as Annabet and Anders were exposed to harsh, often irrational and frequently violent discipline from their parents, which left them emotionally unbalanced and starved of affection. In a time where domestic violence was never discussed within the family let alone outside it, Annabet and Anders struggled to keep their spirits and souls afloat. At least they had each other.
As they endeavoured to find their paths in life – Annabet as a children’s clothing designer and Anders as an internationally recognised chef, restaurateur and talented potter – Anders could not escape the secret he tragically kept to himself and Annabet was perpetually wracked with self-doubt due to her mother’s continual criticism.
This beautifully written story not only traces growing up on the north shore but the gradual evolution of the food and fashion scenes in Sydney in the 70s and 80s. It encompasses many areas of day-to-day struggles within families that were not discussed then and which are, sadly, still occurring today.
Anders was one of the most influential restaurateurs and chefs of his time and his legacy lives on today.
Neil Perry, chef and restaurateur
Harrowing but also inspiring.
Leo Schofield, restaurant critic and festival director