I worked as a Darrell Lea lady for some time, creating the amazing windows that advertised the world of Darrell Lea, so I was very interested in reading this biography. Instead I finished it feeling sad and disillusioned that something so amazing as their chocolates & sweets were the product of such a disfunctional family history. Although the story was primarily based around one part of the Lea family, the end feeling coloured the whole.
Monty Lea and his wife Valerie appeared to be able to offer both their 4 natural children and their 3 adopted children a Willie Wonka world. Instead Shelton, Bretton and Gail (called Honey), were never 'real Lea's' but adopted play-mates for the natural children - and never allowed to forget that.
All 3 left home at around 15. Shelton fought drugs and multiple gaol terms to become one of Australia's most respected poets. Bretton and his brother were close and shared an involvement in petty crime, Bretton was never able to form solid relationships. Honey became a child of the 60's with a fascinating career in the avant-garde world of that time. All 3 were people of value who never felt valued by the only parents they knew - Valerie & Monty Lea.