Review: Ernman and Thunberg – Our House is on Fire

Our House is on Fire
Ernman and Thunberg

“When climate activist Greta Thunberg was eleven, her parents Malena and Svante, and her little sister Beata, were facing a crisis in their own home. Greta had stopped eating and speaking, and her mother and father had reconfigured their lives to care for her. Desperate and searching for answers, her parents discovered what was at the heart of Greta’s distress: her imperiled future on a rapidly heating planet.”

I fully admit that I don’t follow politics and I specifically ignore the news because I find it quite depressing and frustrating. Thus, although I was aware of the ‘Greta phenomenon’ happening, I wasn’t really aware of the specific circumstances about it. This book won’t give you those either. What it will provide you with is a thoughtful commentary by Greta’s mother on some of the challenges of raising a neurodiverse child.

What did annoy me was the focus on Greta’s mother (whose name I still don’t remember) and her status as a celebrity. I’m really sorry, but I have no idea who you are, and why you might be important. I respect you for being accepting of your neurodiverse, eating disorder and autism-having offspring. But you aren’t the only person with that particular combination of problems. I feel like this book was marketed as being about Greta, but it wasn’t focused enough on her. Maybe borrow it from the library, it’s not worth buying (unless you are then going to pass it around to different people).

This book actually made me feel a bit more guilty about not making better choices for the planet. I had sunk into a ‘enough’ mindset, rather than thinking about how I could improve. I have the cash flow to afford to shop more responsibly, but I don’t always make that choice. This book could serve as a good reminder that we can do more, and that it’s not completely hopeless to try to save the planet.

Penguin Random House | 4th March 2020 | AU$32.99 | paperback

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