This surprisingly light and enjoyable read offers an undistorted window into the devastating effects of addiction and child abuse both in an Indigenous community and in a white family. A humble and revealing biographical account of Cathleen’s efforts to make a difference for those around her, the story follows her journeys through iconic Australian landscapes characterised by pervasive red sand, vastness, and life-threatening heat. The key to the success of this book is the way that Cathleen simply shares what she’s seen, without going into analysis or exposition. She states what is fact, and doing so with complete vulnerability and integrity, successfully exposes the insidious failures of interventions in Alice Springs. As if the setting and the themes of brokenness are not compelling enough, Cathleen shares with us her varied experiences of the supernatural, which reflect her own spiritual journey to redemption. This truly is a must-read for anyone, but particularly for anyone involved in any way in helping indigenous communities – from policy writers to politicians, to pastors and principals. Indeed this book is a call to action, and offers clear insights into how not to help families in need. From the moment I picked this book up I couldn’t put it down, and when I finally came to the end I felt privileged to have met the writer in such a candid way. If only we all had the same selfless, teachable and relentless approach to serving those in need.
Dare to Try is written by Cathleen Hope.
This is the link to Cathleen’s book’s Face Book page: Dare to Try.
I met Cathleen and her son last summer. Her humility and stamina was understated. Our boys had fun. I enjoyed her fellowship and her wisdom. We visited each other a couple of times before they returned to the Red Centre. I was thrilled when she let me know her book was published. The story is unapologetically genuine in a uniquely Australian way, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.