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Book Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Parrot tells the true story of a woman facing her desires on the journey to being honest with herself.

Donna Gordon of Townsville, Queensland, went from a quiet childhood in Australia to life as a nun, then as a wife and mother, and finally as a life partner to her beloved Di. Parrot relates these remarkable and true transformations in the first person, chronicling Donna’s early years and her time at boarding school as a “very naïve sixteen-year-old who knew little about marriage, sex, even the whole story of puberty, dating, or, dare I mention it, homosexuality.” Growing up, Donna goes through the standard motions, but she also finds herself caught up in an ambiguous relationship with her coach and teacher, Miss Vera. To the reader, this signals Donna’s first true inklings of her homosexuality, but Donna remains oblivious, stating only that “at no time did I consider the attention of Miss Vera as inappropriate in any way….I couldn’t think why at the time, but I really enjoyed the sensations these situations evoked.” This naïveté continues from there, as Donna devotes her life to Christ by joining a convent. She meets Susan, a fellow nun with whom she develops an intense friendship again bordering on inappropriate. Parrot, however, never lets these situations become scandalous; instead, they’re surprisingly chaste. She merely flirts with what is going on under the surface. As the story progresses and Donna becomes a wife and mother, she finally gives in to her confusing attraction to a woman named Liza. Donna’s naïveté transforms into her focusing on an internal struggle to be honest with herself and her husband, Michael. Refreshingly, the book doesn’t sensationalize Donna’s life—the story of a gay nun could easily slip into melodrama—yet drama is exactly what most of the book lacks. In a calm, mature voice, the narration vacillates between being bashful and serious, but
even as Donna grapples with cancer or her coming out, the story rarely profits from the momentum or suspense that should flower in the events of such a unique, incredible life.

A sweet, tender book about honesty, but short on the excitement its story deserves.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 11, 2014
Michelle Lazzaroni

Bravo!

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

I just loved this book! A courageous woman who realises the importance of truth and the peace of mind that comes with it. Julie Parrott has done a wonderful job in taking the reader on an emotional journey and the importance of being true to yourself. I highly recommend this book. Bravo!

3.0 out of 5 stars
May 10, 2014
Carmel Morgan

Just do it will you”…..read the book

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

The moving,raw,compelling and confronting journey of a compassionate, considerate, generous and gregarious woman learning to know, understand and accept herself.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 5, 2014
Susie Lawson

At last the truth

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

Donna’s story is compelling and as a friend of many years it’s very good to read her journey, which was very painful for her and those people who she loved so dearly. It’s an honest account of those years that were filled with turmoil, but how delightful it is to read that she has come out the other end at peace and enjoying life with her beautiful Di who is her absolute soul mate. In addition to that, she has a wonderful relationship with her children, and for that matter, her wonderful ex husband, Michael. This is a must read for anyone who is living a life that is not genuine.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 3, 2014
Gail Rail

A spellbinding story

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Hardcover)

This is a gorgeous heart warming story filled with emotion, humour and feeling. There are surprising and contentious twists to the tale which kept me spell bound throughout the story. A must read.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 2, 2014
Dianne Lawson

Couldn’t put it down

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

Highly recommended reading. A truly inspirational story of personal conflict and a mothers love for her children. Beautifully written. Thank you for having the courage to share your journey.

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Paperback)Beautifully written remarkable story. A warm account of a person’s life journey dealing with themes of identify and family, religion and life choices. Really moving and enjoyable to read.

5.0 out of 5 stars
June 2, 2014
Kathy Pollard

Interesting True Life Story

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Paperback)

Very interesting true story. This book was well written and was great to read about this lady’s life. Look forward to any other books Julie Parrott will write in the future.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 14, 2014
Karina Hutchinson

A heart warming story

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

This story gives new meaning to ‘honesty is the best policy’. I cried, laughed and contemplated while reading this journey of a lady I know to be a beautiful soul. You will inhale every word of this heart-warming story.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 13, 2014
Sandra Boles

Cost of Truth or the cost of not facing the truth?

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Paperback)

I purchased this book on a recommendation and once started, could not put it down. I found it to be one those very rare stories that bares all. There are so many conflicting emotions and beliefs that needed addressing . The courage and conviction that Donna displayed was both incredibly brave and extremely painful. She was born well before her time and I hope she is now enjoying a peaceful loving life, she certainly deserves it. I also think that her husband was equally courageous, fair and incredibly understanding. Julie K Parrott has a way of writing that made me feel as though I was alongside Donna all the way, feeling the pain, guilt, anguish and many times, the loneliness. I am looking forward to reading more from this very talented author.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 13, 2014
Lucie Spiteri

Sensational. A must read!

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

I could not put this book down and when I did, couldn’t wait to start reading again. Thank you Donna for being so open and honest in sharing your story. It was engaging and you have given others perhaps the courage to make decisions to change their lives. Thank you.

5.0 out of 5 stars
May 5, 2014
Dilly Billy

A journey well traveled

This review is from: Cost of Truth (Kindle Edition)

Congratulations to Julie for bringing Donna’s story to us in a well-crafted and written account of her continuing journey.

Through Donna, Julie has transported us back to a time not that far long ago when one’s sexuality not being that of a heterosexual, was considered ‘abnormal or just a phase they’re going through’. The fact that the general populace might become aware of this was to cause a great social stigma no matter what the family’s social status or religious beliefs. Added into this, that Donna carries the burden of relinquishing the main care giving of her five young children is yet another dimension. Donna continued her struggle throughout adversity to let her real self-evolve and take voice is a true testament to the love and support of Michael, their children and her extended family and friends. All this was done before that advent of social media.

Julie, you’ve given us the honour of being able to walk briefly in another person shoes. These shoes that started out all shiny and new, but the further we walk in them the more they become scuffed, torn, seams coming apart, and for a time discarded. Only to be found by a loving pair of gentle hands. With care and attention, they’ve been brought back to a newness that shines to this day but still well-travelled.

Thank you my Dottie, forever your Dilly Billy xx

I recommend reading The Cost of Truth to anyone that has gone through or going through their own journey of self awareness. To anyone that had a family member or loved one, please take the time to read.