Mrs Angel Rendle-Short said that a book given to her daughter, Francesca, as an English textbook at school would teach her to be a permissive rebel. (Courier Mail, 1975)There are some things you should never speak about.In Francesca Rendle-Short’s family, silence was golden. So to break ranks and tell stories about her peculiar family life and her mother’s moral crusading should send this daughter straight to hell in a ball of smoke and flame along with all those books her mother wanted to burn.Some stories are hard to tell. But like reading, writing stories changes everything.Set in 1970s Queensland and also contemporary times, Bite Your Tongue is an elegant mix of novel and memoir that is in turn harrowing and delightful. It threads together the childhood story of the fictional Glory Solider, with the thoughts and experiences of the adult author, Francesca Rendle-Short, as she looks more deeply into her mother’s activism at the time of facing her mother’s death.Can a daughter forgive her mother for making her a pawn in her conservative moral crusades? Can greater understanding reinstate love? What does a mother owe a daughter and a daughter a mother?Bite Your Tongue is the story of the deep bond that exists between a daughter and her mother, no matter how difficult that mother might be. It is also a story of acceptance.