Back to Broady.png
  • Published: 1 July 2017

  • ISBN: 978-1-925183-83-2

  • ISBN ePUB: 978-1-925183-85-6

  • Format: Paperback

  • AU: $29.99

  • Categories: Memoir

About the Author

Caroline van de Pol is a lecturer in Media and Communication at Deakin University and has worked in media and creative writing at RMIT University. She has a PhD in creative writing at the University of Wollongong. Caroline has worked as a journalist and editor for major newspapers including the Herald Sun and The Sunday Age, and has published two non-fiction health books on pregnancy and parenting.

Caroline grew up in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, and now lives in rural Victoria with her husband and sometimes her three adult sons. Back to Broady is her first memoir.





Back to Broady

By Caroline van de Pol



'When I was a child, we walked to church. There was either no car, or no petrol or sometimes just not enough room for all of us.'

Life in McIvor Street, Broadmeadows, was unpredictable and chaotic. Filled with love and tragedy, laughter and sadness, growing up in a big Irish Catholic family was a constantly changing landscape for the young and inquisitive Cally Egan who often dreamt of escape: from the days when her mother was so unwell she couldn’t get out of bed, or was taken away for shock treatment; from the responsibilities of yet another new baby to help care for; and from the best and worst of her 1960s working-class neighborhood.

In this remarkable memoir, Caroline van de Pol explores her bittersweet journey from a child yearning for her mother’s love and acceptance, to an adult with a greater understanding of the complexities of family and forgiveness. When tragedy continues to strike, and the dark cloud of mental illness moves from her mother to younger sister Margaret, Caroline must face the harsh realities of grief and loss, while remaining resilient for the new family of her own.

Tender, honest and incredibly compelling, Back to Broady reveals to readers that sometimes the only way to heal and move forward is to go back.

Praise for Back to Broady

'Back to Broady is at times hard going as you become emotionally invested in the lives of the Egan and Gleeson families. But even though turning the page can sometimes fill you with trepidation, you can’t help yourself: you are desperate to find out what happens next, and you want it to be good news.'

‘There are a lot of good times, struggle and tragedy, but Caroline van de Pol never sentimentalises her subject. As the place draws her back, she catches that sense of a deep, unlikely attachment – even in the January heat – for the housing commission place that made her.’

‘It is courageous people who can write about times where growing up with tragedy, love and poverty, blend and become a part of the person you are.’

'A realistic, affectionate portrait of a place and time.'                                                                                  

'The moving narrative of...the lifelong friendships that have helped her walk the fine line between survival and surrender. Her tenacity is commendable.'                                                                              

‘[Caroline's] book, Back to Broady, shows she also has courage - courage to do good again and again for her mother, sister and the rest of her family. Without people like Caroline there is no society worth the name. Read and be inspired.’ ANDREW BOLT, HERALD SUN