Seacliff: A Regular Boy Within
"When his mother died, Malcolm at six years old became one of the 'lost' children of that time, those forgotten or abandoned by their families. His young life was spent in the SEACLIFF MENTAL HOSPITAL, situated north of Dunedin, where he grew up mirroring many of the mannerisms o... read full description below.
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||Historical & Mythological Fiction
|Number of Pages
Description of this Book
1926-54. When his mother died, Malcolm, at 6 years old, became one of the 'lost' children, those forgotten or abandoned by their families. He grew up mirroring many of the mannerisms of the other children, while knowing he was different from them. His young life was spent in SEACLIFF MENTAL HOSPITAL. Malcolm's story is of immeasurable sadness, when considering the tragedy and abuse of his wasted earlier life, and yet, with an admirable strength, courage and innate resilience, he ultimately rose above it all, and was able to 'free the regular boy within' as he had always wanted
Awards, Reviews & Star Ratings
||"In Tarr's moving story of one boy's journey through Seacliff's
version of New Zealand insane asylums, with all its tragi-comic
consequences, many unasked questions about why large
psychiatric institutions have now been closed are answered. This
gripping gothic tale, told and retold then assembled into an
integrated and compelling story is a must-read for those touched
Dr Tannis Laidlaw, Psychologist
Author of PUMPKIN EATER and BYE BABY BUNTIN
Susan Tarr was raised in the community of Seacliff Village during the 50s. Young patients from the Seacliff Psychiatric Hospital often attended her little primary school. Once they turned fifteen the children worked up at the hospital helping in the canteen, laundry, wards or Occupational Therapy. Most of her family worked at the hospital at some time. From a young age, they absorbed stories; it was difficult to know where the truth ended and fiction took over. To separate the two at this stage would be an impossible task as many have died, so Tarr has blended various stories in this narrative based on her family's and friends' combined belief of what probably did happen during the period this narrative covers. Where possible she has used correct dates, places and names. Where there is doubt, in her mind, she has changed the names and details to protect those still living.
As a child, she knew Malcolm, who was a young man by then, since her father often invited him home for meals. He was one of the 'lost' children, those forgotten or abandoned by their families. Tarr followed his story from childhood to adulthood even after he was discharged back into the community. Malcolm's story is of immeasurable sadness, when considering the tragedy and abuse of his wasted earlier life, and yet, with an admirable strength, courage and innate resilience, he ultimately rose above it all, and was able to free the regular boy within.