I had taken a few days to collect my thoughts about this book, because for one I wouldn’t know what to do if my son was abducted or taken away from me where I couldn’t be able to see him for any length of time. Although, I was in a quite a fierce and bitter custody battle when we lived out in B.C. with his father, I was still able to see him. So here goes…
Melissa Hawach found the man she was married when she lived in Australia. Joe is from Lebanese descent, and live there in a suburb of Sydney with his extended family who own restaurants. Melissa gets a job at one of the restaurants and gains praise from the family as a hard worker, and is welcomed into the family like one of their own. She had just broken up with a boyfriend, and is on her own. She befriends the family she works for and strives to go back to getting her helicopter license.
On this journey, she goes on a few dates with Joe, and subsequently they marry, later she finds out that he wasn’t quite sure she was the one for him. But as them marriage goes on, there is a few instances of abuse (even while pregnant with their first child) She goes on and tries to make the best of it.
They eventually move to Calgary, and child number 2 is born. Joe has started a business in the paper industry, and the abuse among other things happen.
Finally, after much debate and yelling and fighting, they decide to separate and it’s summer time. Melissa gives her approval to Joe to take the girls to Australia to see their relatives, unknown to her, he plans on taking them to Lebanon away from her.
As the story unfolds, I feel her pain and anguish. A few things had crossed my mind. Why did she think her husband was going to be as honest as he said he would be when giving him permission to travel to Australia, without a court order that would at least in Canada retain custody of the children much less then a pre prepared separation agreement that wasn’t even filed with the court. Her talking about not having any money and the fact that people had set up fundraisers and such I found to be a prevalent part of the book so much so that it seemed to me anyways, that her children took second place. There was no doubt in my mind that her family and friends were behind her, as well as people that she never knew coming out from the shadows from the Internet as she spread her plea across the world wide web and beyond.
Not to be judgemental,I think her focus of the book should have been about the struggle and how she was dealing with the loss and finding of her children more then about the other people. I believe I had read an article in a Canadian Magazine about her harrowing story, and thought “wow, this would be a great book”. That was maybe 2 chapters in the whole book.
It was an interesting story none the less, but with a few edits, it would be a really good book. From the magazine story I read it promised to be much more then what it actually was.
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