My Father’s Compass is a poignant, moving and at times hilarious memoir celebrating the long life of a man with many roles: country doctor, gardener, seaman, carpenter, welder, French polisher, shipwright, cook, religious Jew and mohel (performer of ritual circumcisions).
As a doctor, he earned the admiration and respect of the farming community of Leeton, the love of his patients and the esteem of his colleagues. As a man, he inspired all who knew him. Fiercely independent, passionate and always stubborn, he selflessly cared for his ailing wife into his nineties.
Through the pages of this beautifully written book, Howard Goldenberg records and honours the deep faith, strength and vitality of his father, as well as giving the reader a glimpse into the soul of a tightly bonded family with roots going back to eastern Europe and Turkish Palestine.
From the naughty escapades of little boys to a tragic drowning, from the joys of sailing to the heartache of helping aging parents, Goldenberg’s love, respect and intense loyalty shine through on every page.
This book will evoke tears and laughter, grief and joy as it paints an unforgettable portrait of the man who continues to guide and inspire his descendants.
Martin Flanagan: ‘Howard Goldenberg writes with verve and humour. He also writes with deep compassion. It is this unusual marriage of qualities which makes him a rare and valuable witness to our times.’
Helen Garner: ‘Honest, funny, painful, shining with respect and love: a man’s tribute to the severe beauty of his father’s character.’