As more and more people read “Write About Me”, I am forced to confront the fact that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But just as I am confronted by a range of feedback I realise I am confronting people as well. People closest to me have admitted it’s not something they’d normally read, and others have struggled to finish. Not because of the style of writing but because of the subject matter.
One reviewer writes: “Melissa’s story is hard hitting and necessarily confronting. It makes you shift in your seat and cringe with discomfort.”
And another: “It is heart warming, cringe worthy in parts and eye opening. Based on a true life missing persons case, Ursula Barwick, it will tug at your heart strings as you realise the reality for some people.”
And the latest from today: “Well written, but has an adult scene in it. Brothel, rape, killing. It was an interesting read.”
After getting over the initial shock of today’s review posted on Amazon, I think it raises some thought-provoking issues. Firstly, thank you for “well written” – that has been a common thread through all the reviews so far. And thank you for “interesting”. I continually strive to interest people.
“Adult scene. Brothel. Rape. Killing”. Confronting? Absolutely. As is life. And death. These are things we are exposed to online, computer games, television, newspapers, radio in many various forms each and every day.
These are also things that my cousin Ursula Dianne Barwick, missing now for more than 26 years, may or may not have endured after she disappeared from our lives. The adult scenes throughout the book are there for a reason. I hope that if Ursula did end up in a brothel, that it is the made up Kellett Street brothel run by the very kind fictional character Bessie Fleetwood who found the equally fictional Annabelle on the street. If Ursula was raped as Annabelle was, it breaks my heart just like it breaks my heart to hear that anyone is raped. And if Ursula was killed as Annabelle was, then that is a reality we will all have to face.
But while Ursula is still missing the fictional adult scenes, brothel, rape and killing in “Write About Me” remain fictional. These are Annabelle’s reality. Not Ursula’s. And not mine.
- On this day, I would also like to share one of my favourite quotes from Nelson Mandela, who has died aged 95: “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.”