It’s always nice when you read the memoir of a person you hold in high esteem and you like them even more after you’ve read the book.
In this short volume, blogger, musician and author, Bruce Goodman, recounts his early years growing up as the penultimate of six children in rural New Zealand.
Let me hijack this review to say that many years before I was born, when there were probably already five or six Murphy children, my parents considered moving to New Zealand. Having visited the country, I think my parents would have loved the beautiful countryside and the outdoors lifestyle. I used to think a lot about what my life would have been like if I’d grown up a kiwi, but if they had moved there’s no guarantee that the dominoes that lined up in order for me to be born would have ever been knocked over.
I digress. Back to Bruce, who beat the odds and through a concatenation of events managed to be born Bruce Bernard Goodman in Wanganui.
Written in a series of vignettes, the author recounts his life from birth to leaving secondary school. Thoughtful, loving and humorous, Goodman shares hardships as well as good times, all told in an endearing voice that captures much more of life than if he had written a more detailed autobiography.
Even though my upbringing was very different to Goodman’s (my parents never made it to New Zealand), I found his tales of nature, chooks and family life relatable and it reminded me of the things my older siblings used to get up to in their youth.
The generous amount of photographs of the author adds a lot to this book. It’s great to see Goodman at the different ages he’s writing about, and I loved watching him grow, his unmistakable smile beaming from the majority of the pictures.
I hope that the author continues his memoirs, as he leaves this book on a bit of a cliff hanger. What happened next? I’d love to find out.
I award Bits of a Boyhood…
Bits of a Boyhood is available free online to read or download here.