Get Up Mum
by Justin Heazlewood
It’s 1992 in Burnie, Tasmania and 12-year-old Justin lives alone with his mum. When she is well, Mum is perfect. She knows he likes his carrots raw and his toast cooled, and she knows how to sooth his growing pains. But when she is sick she cries uncontrollably and never gets out of bed.
High school is on the horizon and Justin is bursting with adolescent energy. But his mum’s mental illness hangs over him like a shadow and he feels the need to grow up fast.
Told with youthful exuberance, Get Up Mum is a wildly endearing, entertaining and incredibly powerful memoir about love, family, and coming-of-age.
‘… goddamn wonderful and heartbreaking. Justin’s writing voice is so phenomenal – such a perfect combination of funny and whole-hearted without being syrupy, woe-is-me and sentimental. I have a feeling a lot of people will find relief in this book, especially if they grew up with parents who were dealing with any kind of mental illness.’ AMANDA PALMER
‘Get Up Mum is a memoir about resilience, loneliness, and all the adaptations a 12-year-old boy has to make to cover up the fact his mother is very sick. Heazlewood shows us a childhood that is delicate, hopeful, brilliant and heartbreaking. I’m so glad he made it through to the other side.’
‘Justin Heazlewood has written something so bloody important and special with this book. One of the most big-hearted – and heart-bruising – books you’ll read.’ BENJAMIN LAW, author of The Family Law and Gaysia
‘Heazlewood’s writing has extraordinary power and captures the world of a twelve-year-old living through an extremely alienating and difficult time.’
PAULA KEOGH, author of The Green Bell
‘a warm, humorous memoir about coming of age, and the deep love between two individuals who need each other equally. Littered throughout the novel are lines of poetry that almost startle, asking to be read and re-read.’
CAITLIN CASSIDY, Readings
‘Equal parts heart-warming and heart-wrenching, this book is a funny time capsule of one year in a teenage boy’s life, mixed with a very adult and very tragic tale of severe mental illness. This book broke my heart into many pieces.’