Was Your Dad A Russian Spy?: The personal story of the Combe/Ivanov Affair by David Combe’s wife
Macmillan, 223 pp, $9.95 pb
As Meena Blesing explained in an interview on Sixty Minutes, writing an autobiographical account of her life during the Combe-Ivanov Royal Commission was something she needed to do. Writing the book allowed her to discuss the events of 1983 and their consequences in a way that gave expression to and ordered her anger. For the reader, Blesing’s very personal story provides a perspective on the Combe Affair which has not been canvassed in the other published material: media reports, the Hope Report, David Marr’s The Ivanov Trail. That the book concludes on a note of somewhat ironic hope is but one indication of the emotional complexity of the material story, she covers. For, in telling her own story, Blesing also presents us with what can be read as a rare discussion of the impact on private, family life of state actions and policies.