Posted by: susanjcaldwell28 | June 29, 2011

HIS NAME IS REBECCA – THE STORY OF REBECCA DE HAVALLAND GHOST WRITTEN BY EVELYN WALSH.

This is the true story of Rebecca De Havalland who was born Eamon Tallon in Granard, Co Longford in 1958, and was the first transgender in Ireland to have a full sex change.  The first few years of his childhood were happy ones, despite the absence of his father and the scandal of seperated parents in small town Ireland.  However,  everything changed when at the age of 7, Eamon and his brother were sent off to boarding school, a place he hated.  He suffered sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers.  As a teenager, he felt very confused because he was not attracted to women but also knew he was not gay.  He left his first love Lorraine in favour of Andrea.  They were married in a glitzy wedding.  Eamon was a very good hairdresser but always restless and changed jobs with regularity.  Himself and Andrea had a baby daughter Ava, whom he adored.  The relationship soon floundered and Andrea and Eamon parted ways, with the proviso that he was not to see Ava. He was devastated.

The book takes us from Dublin to London and back again many times over the next few years. There is also time in Amsterdam as a Madam.  Eamon starts getting hormone shots and is on his way to becoming female, something he has always known he was.  We are taken through turbulent relationships and many different jobs and finally onto the road of addiction from alcohol to crack cocaine to heroin.  The part of the story where he spirals into addiction is really difficult.  The problem with addiction is that it is a boring state of being wherein the addiction becomes life and grinds everything around it.  Evelyn Walsh has crafted a story very well out of this chaos, something that it is not easy to do, as binges and blackouts make for many gaps en route.  The self-destructive nature of Rebecca is difficult to grasp and comprehend, having spent so much time, energy and money on her new body, she then goes out of her way to destroy it with alcohol and drugs.

After many failed attempts, she finally gets clean.  She meets up with her long lost daughter in a very unexpected way and there are many other twists and turns along the route. This book is not an easy read and can be quite harrowing at times.  You can literally feel the underbelly of Soho and the desperation of someone wanting to be loved, but who  pushes away the people she loves, because of her addiction.  However, it is a fascinating story, wonderfully told and one hopes that her life will continue to prosper.  Its a story that will resonate with you long after the book is finished.

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  1. […] CLIP – SUSAN J CALDWELL BLOG https://susanjcaldwell28.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/his-name-is-rebeca-the-story-of-rebecca-de-havallan…  […]

  2. […] CLIP – SUSAN J CALDWELL BLOG https://susanjcaldwell28.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/his-name-is-rebeca-the-story-of-rebecca-de-havallan… […]


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