READERS COMMENTS ON "ROAD TO HANGING ROCK"
I cannot put your novel down. I am hooked...I've been trying to read only a couple of chapters a day. Yesterday I was at chapter 5...next minute I'm at chapter 15!!! arrrrgg!! How do I slow down? What a fabulous read. Thank you Barb... best book in my collection. And signed by the author and first edition! " Kim Shardlow
"Absolutely agree with the comment above. I couldn't put it down either. It was a fascinating read, you know one of those books you're sorry when it 's finished." Mary-Anne Stewart
Congratulations are certainly due for the excellent presentation of ‘The Road to Hanging Rock’.
A larger than expected attendance caught organisers by surprise – it’s a fine book and sales deserve to be larger than expected too.
Well done. Trevor Smith
Love the tactile feel of the book and the whole layout. It’s very enticing.
It’s fabulous!!! No jobs done coz too busy enchanted with the book. New Year mail only just gone out. We all love it and want more. Nothing but highest compliments coming from this group of friends. I have to read it again.
A really delightful book launch - so well organized, and with a terrific turn-out... what a crowd of appreciative well-wishers and book-lovers. Well done, Barbara Gurney, with Road to Hanging Rock.
Hi Barbara, congratulations on such a successful book launch. It was delightful and you must have been so pleased with the turn-out. And let me say how interesting to have been in on the whole shebang from the very beginning as we all have. Super congratulations., I loaned my copy to a friend whose property incorporated Hanging Rock and whose children went to school in Woodend. She LOVED it. Can't say enough about it and she's another one who wants more.
I did buy the book and read it within a few days and really enjoyed it. I did not work out the connection between Rebecca and Michael.
Again congratulations on your achievement
I finished your book and loved it - great read. This was a great book a little history, a little romance, a little of the unknown. Great combination and easy to read format
Half way thru the book. Fantastic so far, really good descriptions & drawing out the story just right and teasing the reader. Mystery mystery!!. The shed!
Have just finished your book, and wanted to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed it!
I delayed starting it, suspecting after a quick scan that I wouldn’t be able to put it down – which was the case. Thank you for a good read.
I finished reading Barbara's book. It's a good yarn with the different threads of the imaginative plot skilfully woven together, keeping my attention to the last page.
Have just finished reading "Road To Hanging Rock,"
for the second time, and really enjoyed it again.
The first time I read it, I was so consumed with curiosity, what it was all about that I couldn't put it down.
This reading I enjoyed taking my time, enjoying the unusual environment these women inhabited. I was fascinated with your character portrayals, and how you showed the strength and determination of the human spirit to survive no matter what.
It's definitely a winner. Mary-Anne Stewart
Thoroughly enjoyed your book – felt it was realistic and flowed. Julie Beresford
Yesterday decided that I would read your book. I've read it over the past couple of days and must congratulate you on your remarkable story and skilful way of creating characters '... locked in the middle of nowhere - trapped in time ...' I really enjoyed your writing and I'm amazed at how you were able to produce this other-worldly time when there were so few props to pad out a lifestyle, apart from conversation and the enjoyment of nature. What an innocent time when girls were naive and a cup of tea seemed to be the only substance necessary for enjoyment ... the mystery of the disappearance of the girls and the contrast with modern day life. I must say it developed extremely well in the final chapters and I was sorry to finish it. But it's now a mystery added to a mystery.
It brought back some feelings and thoughts I had about life when a girl. I liked the lines that said, '... Marian supposed the whole mystery of Miranda's and her existence must be about time. Somehow time had aborted reality ...' And interesting the way you didn't try and bring science into the time factor and it worked. It really was like experiencing that period long ago.
I've just finished reading 'Road to Hanging Rock' and want to congratulate you on a job very well done! I really enjoyed it, recognised bits of it from your early readings but a lot of it was new to me. It was a mighty effort as you had to bear in mind the original story, keep the mystery going, make it plausible and introduce the young couple in a meaningful way - no mean task ... I think your dialogue was superb bearing in mind all the above and the different time frames. ( I've yet to attempt any dialogue!!)
Lots of beautiful and evocative descriptions of the Rock and I think you dealt so well with the fire in the cottage - full of suspense, pace and 'onions bobbing in water'. Brilliant!
You obviously did a lot of research into the environment, the vegetation, Appleyard College and modern day Mount Macedon.
You really brought out the very different personalities of Miranda and Marion and their reliance on one another, their coping abilities (a lot to do with their backgrounds) and a sensitively delivered aging process. Just when I thought 'OK enough of them for now' you took us back to Michael and Rebecca - so in my opinion, a perfectly timed switch ...
Michael - a sensitive new-age guy, very attractive, artistic, loves his grandmother (I liked her too!) and Rebecca, a cat lover (so she must be alright!), open and 'up-front', quite ambitious and a lovely rapport with same grandma. A nice little 'happy ever after' as long as they stay away from the Rock ...
I shall be encouraging friends here (UK) to read it now so will give you more feedback.
A very good book and I reckon good for a mini series, or movie follow up to Picnic at Hanging Rock, which Barron Films or someone similar, should jump at. Well done Barb! Phil May
In My View - photograph & literature compeition.
Selected as winner for prose written from inspiration of photograph "On the Rhine" by Chris Barry. 2017
A FARTHING WILL DO
The Port Stephens Literature Awards 2017
RIBBONS OF LOVE
Selected for inclusion in a competitive anthology - Serenity Press' A Bouquet of Love
In My View - photograph & literature competition
Selected as winner for prose written from inspiration of photograph "Frozen in Time" by Michael Taylor. 2016
COLOUR OF COURAGE
First Prize: Geelong Writers Flash Fiction Competition: 2015
Old Enough for War
Highly Commended - Poetry Section
Yarram Community Learning Centre Annual Literary Compeition 2014
BY DARKENED SHORE (announced 2013)
Raspberry & Vine Short Story Competition 2012
FIRST PRIZE: Yarram Community Learning Centre Annual Literary Competition 2012
WIDE BROWN LAND
`FIRST PRIZE: Minlaton Show Short Story Competition 2012
Honorable mention 2012 Golden Wattle Writing Competition
TO FILL THE HEART Highly Recommended. Stringybark Flash and Microfiction Awards 2012
JAKE'S NEW FRIEND (Children's story)
Charlotte Duncan Award 2010 Short Listed
Here I am: a speck in the world. Going my own way, beside water rippling its necessity and The Circle of Life as a backdrop. Gaining pace, I head towards my rendezvous.
From afar, my impact is like a fly spot on a cathedral's stain-glass window. Hidden against admired beauty. Not seen by those with better things to do than wonder about me – Is he going or coming?
The day will pass. I will achieve; or not.
But am I not an important fragment in my circle of life? And, in the circle of life of those overlapping with mine? Won't expected circumstances change if I do not arrive? Yes! Someone's day will alter – will change immeasurably.
That person who waits. She would miss me. Her existence would be modified. Pockets of her days would have someone else tucked away ‒ because I would absent.
But, when I do arrive the day will be as planned.
Coffee, pancakes, perhaps a second cup with inconsequential conversation showing meaningful closeness.
We'll touch each other, lingering as tingling of expectation spreads from our physical to the essence of new affection. Our smiles will be just for us ‒ not for the chattering others who fill the road-side café – not for the passing parade of Sunday pedestrians.
We'll share our everydayness, our ordinary hopes for the years ahead, and loll in the unremarkable wishes not yet expressed.
Isn't that enough for me? To be more than an implied speck for just one person. More than a miniscule interference to overwhelming modern art. (An installation criticised by many for monies which could be better spent on practicalities.)
I glance at an arrow of black slashing through the organised horizontal.
Many have said, 'Art reflects life.'
Why not mine? Why not ours?
The years ahead become predictable: We will have lightning bolts of emotions tearing at the ordinary; disruption withering the insignificant – sometimes the wrecking ball of chaos demolishing calm.
I peddle insistently, determined to reach my destination and speak to her of my potential to love ‒ shared love; ever-after love.
Didn't the nineteenth century tabloids announce loves makes the world go round?
And it is so. Love in all its forms, yes, will make the world continue. For without love one lies and cheats, murders and plunders. Moving into a darkness which mankind abhors … or should.
I pass by and concentrate.
The circle of life is mine to own.
I deny I am just a speck.