Connie and Samuel Johnson
Publication Date: 28th October, 2014
Keywords: Memoir, Australian, Adult
Reviewed by Debbie Berger
This warm and honest memoir tells the story of Connie and Samuel Johnson, siblings who are faced with the awful news that Connie has terminal cancer. Connie wants to make sure that she doesn’t die without trying to help others who could face the same fate as hers in the future.
Samuel Johnson is an Australian TV star well known for his roles in shows such The Secret Life of Us and Underbelly. Connie, his sister, has been diagnosed with cancer for the third time in her life at just 33. Soon after her diagnosis, Connie has a crazy idea that Sam should unicycle around Australia with the goal of raising $1 million for cancer research whilst educating women to be breast aware. Sam reluctantly agrees and it is turns out to be just what he needs (which is secretly part of Connie’s plan). The book is written as a memoir/travel diary and the story is told alternately from Connie and Sam’s perspective. It is inspiring to live through their unfaltering support and love for each other as they attempt this amazing feat.
Uplifting and emotional at times, this is a great read from the beginning to the end. I loved the alternative perspectives and the tales from many of the regional towns Sam visits as he travels 15,000 kilometres across Australia.
I didn’t expect to enjoy this as much as I did and it at different times it had me in tears and then laughing along with Sam as he visited so many wonderful communities. Well worth the read – and for a very worthy cause too.
Warning: there is some strong language at times.