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My Nine Lives Book Review

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Published September 4th 2013
a psychotherapist's journey from darkness to light
The release timing of psychotherapist Jane Leigh's autobiography My Nine Lives could not have been better - or worse.

Hot on the heels of ex-Victorian cop Denis Ryan's memoir Unholy Trinity about his crusade to expose a paedophile priest, and with similar inquiries into the Catholic Church in NSW still ongoing, Leigh's book heaps more pressure on the Catholic community worldwide to address the issue of child sexual abuse by the clergy.

In My Nine Lives, Leigh alleges that members of Singapore's Redemptorist order sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager and her mother did nothing to stop it. Now residing in Melbourne, Leigh pulls no punches in detailing her uneasy relationships with men from the time she was 17 and living in Perth as a medical student. It is difficult not to feel for her as she endured one abusive relationship after another, with little community support and almost nobody to turn to.

Controversial: In her newly-released autobiography, Singapore-born Melbourne-based psychotherapist Jane Leigh implicates members of the Redemptorist order in sexual abuse

Sure enough, such revelations are bound to stir controversy and the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore is certainly on edge. There have been questions raised as to what the Beyond Blue ambassador's agenda may be, with many quarters casting aspersion on her story. Despite that, Leigh has been lauded by many from her own field in the way she conquered her demons and qualified in her own right as a psychotherapist while raising two young children as a single mother when her husband walked out on them.

Overall, whatever judgement on Leigh is reserved for the Lord himself, and we mortals should simply read My Nine Lives for what it is and marvel at the strength of its protagonist in surviving one setback after another, one of which involved her dramatic sacking by one of Australia's top medical laboratories when she discovered some dodgy practices going on. Like the scripture says, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone".
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