Kerryn Goldsworthy reviews 'Her Mother’s Daughter: A memoir' by Nadia Wheatley

When John Norman Wheatley met Nina Watkin in Germany in 1946, he would have regarded her as a lesser being on all fronts: woman to his man, forty to his forty-eight, Australian to his English, nurse to his doctor. They met as fellow employees of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), working with wartime refugees from an assortment of European countries. In this heartbreaking memoir of her mother Nina, or ‘Neen’, Nadia Wheatley writes:

UNRRA is another of the magic words of my childhood, words that set my mother apart from the mothers who pick up my classmates after school, the mothers who play tennis, and  have short permed hair, and seem to have had no life before their children were born … the word ‘UNRRA’ turns on a light inside Neen, a light  that shines in her eyes.

Read the rest of this article by purchasing a subscription to ABR Online, or subscribe to the print edition to receive access to ABR Online free of charge.

If you are already a subscriber, click here, or on the ‘Log In’ tab in the top right hand corner of the screen, and enter your username and password to log in. If you have logged in but are still seeing this message your subscription to ABR Online may have expired. Please contact us or click here to renew your subscription to ABR Online. More information about ABR Online can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.