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My Mother's Eyes cover art

My Mother's Eyes

By: Shanelle Dawson
Narrated by: Shanelle Dawson,Alley Pascoe
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Publisher's Summary

Imagine living with the knowledge that your father had murdered your mother and lied to you your whole life, telling you she left because she didn't love you anymore.

How could a father do this to his children? How could a husband do this to a woman he at one time loved?

When she was four years old, Shanelle Dawson's mother, Lynette, disappeared. On 8 January 1982, the woman who had been a loving, constant presence vanished without a trace. Four year old's might not be able to articulate questions or understand a lot, but the ache of absence is very real. Year after year that ache persisted.

Shanelle's father, Chris Dawson, claimed that his wife just needed to get away. This is what he told Lyn's parents and siblings. This is what he told his daughters. But Lyn never returned home. Her side of the bed was immediately filled by Shanelle's teenage babysitter, a former student of her father's.

After thirty-six years of her father's lies, a podcast called The Teacher's Pet investigated her mother's case. Sordid details about the father she loved became public. Whispers that he had murdered Lynette grew louder. The police refocused on the cold case. Then, Chris Dawson faced court. Forty years after she went missing, he was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison for the murder of Lynette.

Now, in this brave, emotionally powerful memoir, Shanelle reclaims her mother's story and finds a channel for her own voice. It is an unforgettable insight into the ripples of trauma and loss that family violence brings and shows how Shanelle found the strength to confront her father and can now create a new life after unimaginable deception.

This is Shanelle's story.

©2023 Shanelle Dawson (P)2023 Hachette Australia Pty Ltd

What listeners say about My Mother's Eyes

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Very well written

I have followed this story from the beginning and enjoyed listening from a daughters heart.

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2 people found this helpful

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Using your voice

Shanelle, thank you for taking the courage needed to use your voice and share your story.

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2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written legacy to a loved mother xx

A loving recount told by a brave, kind and loving daughter. Showing the personal human account of the case that gripped Australia x

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1 person found this helpful

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Thank you

Thank you for sharing your and your beloved mothers story. I wish you peace and a still mind.

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A brave and honest report of self

Having experienced more in life than most, Shanelle narrates her life experiences, emotions, and the condition of her crushed psyche.
This is not a crime podcast.
This is a cathartic purge for Shanelle, it’s her memories, dreams, travels and search for answers to her conflicting pains.
Thankyou Shanelle for being brave enough to be yourself and honest , neither exaggerating, nor sugar coating difficult things.
Well done. I hope it helped you to write this.
I live in Bayview - and think of your pretty, kind faced mother often as I look out onto fresh, yacht filled waterway with cockatoos overhead and sun glazing the angophora costata and eucalyptus maculata in the mornings, and hope her energy is flying on the breeze to you and your sister. Happy life moving forward Shanelle.

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Story of the life of a quiet and kind soul

Thank you Shanelle for sharing your story.

I don’t think you owe society anything - society allowed this damage to happen to you and seems society owes you in my opinion. You have had a lot of bad luck (your father, stepmothers and many of your extended family, the police, education authorities etc have certainly let you down). I think a lot of people are also wanting the best for you though.

Thank you for highlighting that the value women (and all of us) is not based in looks - so much modern media and just general conversation would have us think so and it’s just not right. I don’t want my daughter to waste any time thinking how she looks is at all important- she has much more to offer the world as do all women. I think your mother really was beautiful though having said that (and she was a nurse and mother and many more things more importantly!!). She didn’t lose her beauty or value by putting on weight while she had a baby/toddler?!. I’m sorry your dad couldn’t see how lucky he was.

I don’t have much in common with you personally, but I’ve loved to hear about your travels and spirituality - never would be brave enough to do all that myself!

I hope sharing your story brings you peace and allows you to move on because you deserve to feel happy and enjoy your life and child.

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Thank for story it truly helped having a terrible parents

Thank you your story and words have been helpful. Hope that your story gets better and that your mother is found.

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Honest, tragic and beautiful

Your story has been written, read and shared with such incredible honesty, strength, vulnerability and love. You have an amazing talent and I wish you, your daughter and loved ones continued strength as your journey continues.

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Love and courage

Such an inspirational read. Shanelle's book is beautiful and heartfelt and so courageous bringing to attention the innocent victims to domestic violence.

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A Heartfelt Memoir

Through the writing of this book, Shanelle has managed to change Lyn’s story from being the subject of a murder investigation, into a celebration of love and motherhood. Thank you for bringing your mother to life and sharing her with us all.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.