By turns frank, funny, fearless and philosophical, The Fence Painting Fortnight of Destiny portrays Meshel Laurie’s journey from small town Toowoomba girl to one of the leading lights of Australian comedy. Meshel is remarkably candid at times with her story, revealing a host of personal issues and moments of crisis interspersed with her trademark humour and observations (“in the 70s everyone parented like Britney Spears”) that will leave with tears in your eyes and a lump in the throat. Country Australia seems to produce comedians as prolifically as it does cricketers and Meshel’s theory on what makes a comedian is that they have to take knockbacks as a kid to end up trying to laugh at life. From her depression, drug addictions, marital problems, family breakdowns and low self-esteem, Meshel has certainly had her share of the kicks, but through resilience, determination, talent and a new found strength in Buddhism keeps kicking back as much, to finally enjoy the career success her efforts deserve and the joy of having children (although even this was done the hard way of course!). I found the first part of the book documenting her childhood and early attempts to make it as a comedian more interesting than the second half, although this contained some wonderful insights and anecdotes about the cream of Australia’s comedy (knew I could slip in a dairy reference somehow). By the end of this book, you will definitely feel like you have almost made a new friend in Meshel, such is her honesty and willing wit. No frenemies here please!