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The Sides of Heaven

Chapter 1 Post-war Rangoon
Dad lied to us. The Second World War was over, the long wait for freedom at an end. Government employees were summoned to Rangoon, and my father appointed Assistant Registrar and Personal Secretary to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. No accommodation was available as many homes had been bombed during the war, so he was ordered to leave us behind at Mandalay. After suffering the lash of his tongue and feeling his blows, we regarded the separation from him as a glimpse of heaven. Our relief was to be shortlived. In late 1946 Dad wrote to Mum telling her to join him in Rangoon as a home now awaited us. All our happiness vanished. Reluctantly, we took the train to Rangoon, only to find there was no house. Seven of us had to live in a single-roomed warehouse within the grounds of the High Court. He deliberately lied so that we would have to leave Mandalay and be reunited with him. * During the Japanese invasion of Burma in 1941, we had evacuated upcountry to Katha, in North Burma. Japanese troops pushed the British army from Burma into India, and it seemed we had been deserted. Nourished on books during those terrible years of the war, and having three siblings older than me, I acquired a mind mature for my age.
A devout Catholic, Mum had been attracted by my father’s captivating ways and fallen for him—even though he was a Muslim. All his charm disappeared once she signed the marriage certificate. What could she do? If she ran away, society would shun her. So, with the birth of each child, the chains on her tightened until they completely weighed her down. Now she found herself with a broken heart.

Buy a copy of the prequel Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child and you’ll enjoy The Sides of Heaven much more even though it is a stand alone.




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CALEB Competition 2017

calebheaven tempers the wind cover

Heaven Tempers the Wind: Story of a War Child,

was shortlisted

in the Caleb Competition of 2017


The Sides of Heaven
Hazel’s memoir is set during the turbulent period following the Second World War and the subsequent civil war.
From a family’s endurance, a mother’s faith and a young girl’s traumatic journey through her teenage years, ultimately springs a story of redemption and hope. Hazel yearns for freedom, yet chooses to enter a convent; she yearns for her family, yet spreads her wings for Australia
The Sides of Heaven is the sequel to Heaven Tempers the Wind: Story of a War Child, which was shortlisted in the Australia and New Zealand-wide CALEB Competition of 2017.



sides of heaven_front



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The Sides of Heaven by Hazel Barker

sides of heaven_front

The sequel of Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child will be out shortly.

Set in a turbulent period of history, the story continues to unfold the struggles and sufferings of mother and children until death steals another three more of them.

Join the family in their journey to faith and freedom from the land of pagodas to the world of koalas and kangaroos.

To be released within the next few weeks by Armour Books.

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The Gecko Renewal and other stories of life Ed. by James Cooper & Mark Worthing

Hazel’s short story ‘Three Miracles’

was published in 

The Gecko Renewal and other stories of Life, 

Ed. by James Cooper & Mark Worthing, Morning Star Publication, 2017

IMG_3207 Gecko

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Write a Book in a Day – Winner

Best Sponsorship

Fuzzy’s Big Day Out
Carindale Writers’ Group
Team: Carindale Writers
State: QLD
Division: Open

Fuzzy's Big Day Out (3)Carindale Writers' Group entry, Fuzzy's Big Day Out, for the Write a Book In A Day competition.

Congratulations to Carindale Writers’ Group and especially to those who did all the hard work!


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Author Talk at Logan Hyperdrome Library

Chocolate Soldier: the Story of a Conchie by Hazel Barker


Event Type: Adult Literacy
Age Group(s): Adults
Date: 22/11/2017
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 11:30 AM
Local author Hazel Barker speaks about her journey to publication and her debut novel Chocolate Soldier: The Story of a Conchie, which tells the story of Clarence Dover, a conscientious objector during World War II. You will learn how to avoid the mistakes the author has made on her writing journey.
Library: Logan Hyperdome Library

Location: Meeting Room

Phone: 34124120 to book a seat

Refreshments provided

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Author Encounter Encounter

Hazel Barker Poster

Refreshments provided.  

By the end of my talk I hope you’ll learn not to make the same mistakes as me.

See you there!


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