Book launch of “Encounters” anthology

Encounters. A collection of short stories and poetry was launched on Friday the 21st October at the Carindale library. Four of my short stories have been selected for publication in the anthology. …

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Book launch of “Encounters” anthology

Encounters. A collection of short stories and poetry was launched on Friday the 21st October at the Carindale library.

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Four of my short stories have been selected for publication in the anthology. They are excerpts from Book I of my memoir Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child (Armour Books) and my as yet unpublished manuscripts.

The stories are:

An Encounter with my Boss  excerpt from Book II Hope Springs Eternal – Memoir

Death excerpt from Heaven Tempers the Wind. Story of a War Child – Memoir

Milan excerpt from The Soprano Historical Fiction

The Promise of Tomorrow excerpt from Book II Hope Springs Eternal – Memoir

All profits will be donated to the Silky Oak’s family support programs at Manly West. The book is available for purchase at $16 per copy.

For more information email:  carindalewritersgroup@gmail.com

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Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

Review by  Kathy Stewart I knew very little about the conflict in Burma during the Second World War and read this book with great interest. It struck me as the story of many wars, both personal and…

Source: Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

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Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

Review by  Kathy Stewart

I knew very little about the conflict in Burma during the Second World War and read this book with great interest. It struck me as the story of many wars, both personal and on a larger scale, as mother and father come into conflict, as they battle to keep true to their values, and as the father’s growing alcoholism impacts on his nature and his relationship with his family. All this is played out against the backdrop of a vicious and confronting war that had consumed the whole world.

Hazel Barker was just a small child, unable to grasp the enormity of what was about to be thrust upon them when the bombs first fell on her home town, Rangoon. They had lived an idyllic lifestyle, wanting for nothing, but their magical world was soon shattered and they were forced to flee, before being propelled into a battle for their very existence. Facing many hardships, not least of which were famine and the death of a beloved family member, they struggled to keep their family intact while their war raged both internally and externally.

An interesting and honest account of the ravages of war and also of individuals’ struggles to maintain their strong sense of self and of their values.44

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Review of Heaven Tempers the Wind

Hazel Barker was a four-year-old living in Rangoon when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Until that time her father worked for the British establishment and the family was relatively well-to-do, but t…

Source: Review of Heaven Tempers the Wind

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Review of Heaven Tempers the Wind

Hazel Barker was a four-year-old living in Rangoon when the Japanese invaded in 1941. Until that time her father worked for the British establishment and the family was relatively well-to-do, but that all changed on Hazel’s birthday with the onset of bombing, causing the family to flee to Mandalay, then north again, until the invading Japanese army caught up with them. For the next four years the family’s fight for survival became ever-more desperate as the family savings dwindled to almost nothing and they were forced to live on the charity of relatives in the area of Mandalay.

The background of Hazel’s family is told incrementally; an Anglo-Indian mother, Burmese father, her two elder brothers, Rupert and Bertie, her elder sister, Jane, and the infants Rose and mentally-handicapped Herman. We are told of the tribulations suffered by her mother at the hands of her father who could be violent, and who, as the years progressed, became ever more isolated from his kin. This is doubly confronting when money is spent on liquor while the rest of the family are starving.

We learn of the bravery of Hazel’s brothers in the face of the enemy, of religious conflict between a Christian mother and her children pitted against a Muslim father and his relatives, of beriberi that afflicted all the children, of malaria that nearly claimed the life of her brother, Rupert, and of the death of her sister, Jane, following a vaccination given by the Japanese.

Adding to the story are insights gleaned from Hazel’s research into the war in Burma and from interviews with others who witnessed the invasion, or were involved in military action against the Japanese.

This is a compelling tale of courage, love and endurance, told largely from the perspective of a child. The book passes the critical test of compelling the reader to keep turning the page. After the Japanese were forced out of Burma Hazel’s father regains employment with the British and the family is required to return to Rangoon from the relative comfort of Mandalay. But at the close of the book the living conditions are desolate and only a sense of duty, or powerlessness, binds mother to father. What becomes of Hazel’s parents and siblings? How did she come to end up in Australia? This is all revealed in her next book, yet to be read by me. I look forward to it.

Review by Martin Line, retired academic and author of several publications in various disciplines.heaven tempers the wind cover

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Book launch of Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

A big thank you to the staff of Victoria Point Library for hosting my book launch of Heaven Tempers the Wind, to all my lovely friends – old and new – for attending this wonderful event…

Source: Book launch of Heaven Tempers the Wind by Hazel Barker

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