Reviews

Review 1

I have heard from a number of transgender friends how valuable they find it to read about the personal experiences of others who have come to terms with their true gender and have finally become the person they always knew they really were. By her honest and open description of her early life, her marriage, her relationship with her son, her first forays into the trans world, the discovery of a new lover, and her final achievement of her true self, Teraina shares some powerful truths about what it means to be transgender and how choices, decisions, turning-points and opportunities emerge in the lives we live.

Bringing this story into the open as a published book has required Teraina to follow a self-publishing method (sometimes called `vanity publishing') which means that she has stood the costs of getting her original manuscript developed into a commercial book format. One feature of this method is that very often simple typing errors or grammatical niceties do not get weeded out in the way that would happen if the text were proofed and edited by the production team in a commercial publishing house. This is the case with this particular edition of this title and potential purchasers should be aware that they will need to allow for occasional errors in spelling, grammar, syntax and word choice.

However, I feel that there is a privilege in hearing Teraina's own personal `voice' in the writing as we read it on the page. This is someone who acknowledges a degree of dyslexia since childhood and declares on her Facebook page that her education has taken place primarily in the `university of life'. The story she tells is vivid; the experiences are shared honestly and openly; and I get the unmistakable feel of a life fully lived, with all its rough edges, coming off the page to me. So, I find that, for the sake of that immediacy and integrity, I can forgive the rough edges of the written style because I hear the authentic Teraina telling her story - unashamedly.

At the end of the book, Teraina includes a few poems. I find the one called `She came' particularly moving and inspired as it captures in great simplicity the massive complexity of how Teraina came to be. I think, for many people who are seeking to understand the many manifestations of transgender, Teraina is worth getting to know through the medium of these pages.

Review 2

Teraina's autobiography is a candid and heart warming account of her struggle to become the woman she was born to be. In her relaxed and personal style the author takes us on a wonderful journey from her childhood, young adult life, marriage and ends with the happy realisation of her dream in Thailand.

I can't believe I will be alone in bargaining with myself at 1 am that I was allowed to read just one more chapter before I turned out the light.

The book is required reading for anyone who has shared Teraina's dream and for those who simply want to know more about this amazing story.

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