Home » Uncategorized » Confronting? Absolutely. As is life. And death.

Confronting? Absolutely. As is life. And death.

WriteAboutMeConfrontingPicAs 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.”

2 thoughts on “Confronting? Absolutely. As is life. And death.

  1. The reality of life is beautifully expressed in this short blog. We are far too inclined to turn away from the reality of life, our own lives and the lives of others. Thank you Melissa for daring to say it the way it is.


  2. You know there is not one moment in this book that was not there out of necessity. It’s not exaggerated. Actually it was underplayed, and as I said to Melissa after I read it, if you put the whole truth in nobody would believe you anyway. Ursula’s ugly was a whole lot uglier than you or I know about, or could probably even imagine. I’ve read your reviews as well and I feel like screaming “but it’s based on a real story” if you took out the real what would it be ? A prettied up story of a runaway hooker who was subjected to early abuse but didn’t swear ? It wouldn’t be true to Ursula that’s what. Her story is ugly, saddening and a lesson to us all. There is no happy ending.


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