Book Review: The Trauma Cleaner

Author: Sarah Krasnostein

Review: This is a book that can shift the emphasis from empathy for to empathy with. It makes us question what defines a flawed person and whether there is such a thing? Is the ‘flawed person’ just a banal line used to grab attention and allow for a perpetual state of victimhood? Or is it merely a state of being for every one of us? Sarah Pankhurst is no victim. Her story is about awakenings both for Sarah and those that she touches and works with. It’s about the backwards and forwards journey towards those moments. It’s about the big battles that people face to get through each day and where they find their comfort and safety. As a reader, we’re challenged to an awakening of our own, one of real and unjudging compassion. Sarah opens our mind to what could be any one of us, while encouraging us to question societies progressiveness, or lack thereof.

Pages: 261

Genre: Memoir

Book Blurb: A woman who sleeps among garbage she has not put out for forty years. A man who bled quietly to death in his loungeroom. A woman who lives with rats, random debris and terrified delusion. The still life of a home vacated by accidental overdose.

Before she was a trauma cleaner, Sandra Pankhurst was many things: husband and father, drag queen, sex reassignment patient, sex worker, businesswoman, trophy wife…

But as a little boy, raised in violence and excluded from the family home, she just wanted to belong. Now she believes her clients deserve no less.

Sarah Krasnostein has watched the magnificent Sandra Pankhurst bring order and care to the living and the dead – and the book she has written is remarkable. It is not just the compelling story of a fascinating life; it is an affirmation that, as isolated as we may feel, we are all in this together.

Book Blurb Source: Krasnostein, S., The Trauma Cleaner: One Woman’s Extraordinary Life in Death, Decay & Disaster, Text Publishing, Melbourne, Australia.

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