The All Of It: A Bogan Rhapsody is truly the book all of Australia needs to read in 2022, whether you’re a heterosexual cis-gendered male or female, someone who might be questioning their own identity and the body they were born into, the parent of a child that might be asking confronting questions or a gay man who has never had the urge to put on a bra, for fun or otherwise – this book has many lightbulb moments for all!

This compelling memoir from lauded independent filmmaker Cadance Bell is the journey of a transgender woman who started life as Ben, a tender-hearted kid whose desire to put kindness out into the world hid a darker secret that tortured a soul, one who couldn’t reconcile the vision they were confronted with in the mirror with the deeply held truth on the inside.

Absolutely bursting with 90’s Aussie nostalgia, particularly recognisable if you were lucky enough to have grown up during such an unknowingly blissful time of relative world peace, Cady takes you through some fascinating insights into her thought processes growing up and what it was like having to deal with fighting strange urges in a small town in far outback NSW. 

Covering battles with drug and food addiction, sexual assault, family dramas, a high school kick in the nuts Cristiano Ronaldo would be proud of and the absolute exhaustion of carrying this heavy burden around full time, the joyous ending you know is coming is the lightness you feel on Cady’s behalf when she is finally allowed to realise the joy of living life in a body that silences the disquiet within – you viscerally feel the silence is bliss. 

“If you’re alive, you can do anything. If you’re reading this, you’re not dead” – Cadance Bell

Harrowing in places, poignant in others but always narrated in the laughing tone of an Aussie larrikin, The All Of It: A Bogan Rhapsody is also full of life lessons, there for the taking for anyone open to the messages contained within.

The insights are from someone who seems to have cottoned on to the meaning of the universe early on, way earlier than most of us get it, if we ever do – kindness and compassion are the secret ingredients to living happily ever after. 

The All Of It: A Bogan Rhapsody, available now.

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