Penelope, aged 9, and her family emigrate from the UK to Australia. This book covers her journey onboard the ship and her family's friendship with a Greek family. This friendship continues in Australia throughout their life's journey.
The book includes the life effects of being interfered with as a child, and the
ups and downs of adopting children. Along the way there is mystery, murder,
love and disappointment.
Patricia Gibbons keeps you intrigued and in wonder of what is to come.
An exciting read!
read an excerpt...
September 19th, 1951, was my ninth birthday. The P&O Liner Ranchi pulled away from Tilbury Docks in the United Kingdom, bound for an unknown future in Australia, its engines roaring through the water, drowning out the singing from our friends and family gathered at the dock to bid us farewell. I could hear them singing and attempting to harmonise their favourite Vera Lynn war tune, ‘We’ll meet again’ as well as ‘Good night, Irene.’ The sights and sounds will stay in my memory forever.
My name is Penelope (the family calls me Penny), and the immigration of the family to Australia was a sad day for me, but a day of excitement and wonder for my mother Ada and my two sisters, Shirley, who was sixteen, Kate, fourteen, and my elder brother John, who was eighteen.
Dad had made the journey to Australia two years before, and mum longed to see him again on our arrival in Melbourne, Victoria. It was not long before this when Dad returned to the United Kingdom from the war. The family had been evacuated from our house in London when the Germans bombed it. We had so many unpleasant memories of the bombings in London, the air raid shelters, the Germans bombing our school, and finally having to evacuate to the country. After the war, when Dad arrived home, he decided there was a better life for us all in Australia.
Being in the Royal Air Force, it was not a difficult thing for Dad to ask for a transfer to The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and make the trip to Australia to set up house for us all in this new land. Dad had met several Australians while fighting in the war, and he grew to like their sense of fun and their outlook on life. They painted a picture of Australia in Dad’s mind as a land of opportunity, a great place to start a new life. As a number of his mates were stationed at the Point Cook Air Force base in Melbourne, he applied to be posted there, and it was granted. So on September 19th, 1951, we were on our way.
The trip to Australia took six weeks. We travelled through the Suez Canal, and it was an adventure for all the family. The giant liner was a huge playground for us. There were immigrants from the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy, and other countries on board, and one of the Greek families – The Papadopoulos family – became good friends with us all. They had three sons and a daughter. The boys were Sebastian, ten, who became my first boyfriend; Alex, who was just the right age at eighteen to be a friend for John; Theo, a good looking dark haired typical Greek boy of seventeen years, who was to become Shirley’s onboard romance, and last but not least, was a fifteen-year-old girl called Mia who was the right age as a friend for Kate who was very outspoken, Mia was quite shy and Kate bossed her around. It seemed to work out fine between them, and they became inseparable.
about Patricia Gibbons...
Patricia writes under the fictitious name of Patricia Gibbons. She has lived a busy life and some of her adventures are in her new novel, Life’s Journey, but not all:
In her teenage years singing and dancing were also one of Patricia’s loves and she appeared in a number of stage performances.
Patricia successfully bred Rottweilers for 42 years, and wrote her first book The Rottweiler In Australia about the first 20 years. She published this book back in the mid-1980’s. After becoming an All Breeds Dog Judge, Patricia judged Championship Dog Shows all over Australia, and she travelled overseas to judge in the UK, USA, New Zealand, Malaya, the Philippines and China.
Patricia has a Diploma in Classical Homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies.
Connect with Patricia Gibbons
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more personal "stuff" about Patricia Gibbons...
**Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
This book does have a special meaning for me, for as long as I can remember I have wanted to tell the stories in my life journey. My life has been so varied and at times very exciting, and I have enjoyed sharing my experiences in my book “Life’s Journey”
**Where do you get your storylines from?
My storyline is from my experiences through life.
**Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
I found the book so exciting to write, as I went through the memories of my experiences growing up and also during my maturity and ageing process, it became clear to me that I should be very grateful for the opportunities that life has sent my way.
**Do you write in more than one genre?
I am very involved in judging dogs and previously bred Rottweilers for 42 years or so, so I have written on the Rottweiler Breed “The Rottweiler In Australia”- the first 20 years, which is of course a completely different genre.
**Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
I write in the office at my home. When I sit at my computer to write, I have a wonderful view of the garden and pool area. My husband has a beautiful dove house in the garden and I watch the doves flying around, so peaceful and content, as I look for inspiration with my Rottweiler dog laying down beside me, just happy to be where I am. I find this is the ideal place for my mind to wander.
**And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I guess during my life the most significant event was adopting my two children. They have both been told since they were little that they were chosen children, and very special. My husband and I made sure we read books to them on adoption and they are now both very content with their lives. We have been very lucky. But, I have been very mindful of their lives, and if they have chosen to tell their friends, and their children. This of course is their choice.
I have always wanted to write a book which included my experiences on adoption, and now that my children are adults and have children of their own, they have told their own children of their adoption, so I have been able to put into words for others thinking of adoption, the wonderful world of family that it creates. So, if you are thinking of adopting children, go ahead, don’t hesitate, your world will be better for it.
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