Freedom & Hope

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The immigrant woman in Australia, a divided self. 

Front cover of Freedom & Hope by Jean Stewart. The immigrant woman... a divided self.
The front cover of Freedom & Hope by Jean Stewart.

A collection of ten vignettes around five women: Susannah, Elaine, Louella, Emelda and Rada as they traverse the ironies and unexpected twists of life in Australia. The stories explore the migrant, lover, daughter and friend, with each woman bringing her own unique tale to the table. 

Author Bio: Jean Stewart

Jean Stewart was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1950.  As a young woman she set out to explore the world: USA, South America, Scandinavia, and Europe. In 1980 she travelled to Sydney, Australia where she settled for twelve years. She has lived in Adelaide for over two decades.

Now retired, she has taken up her passion for writing – an interest that developed as a child and later as a young adult. Her move to Australia meant shelving this passion for many years, practicalities of life taking over. Jean’s love of her home country has never left her.

Only a migrant will know the experience of the divided self – childhood memories deeply entrenched, yet part of a different world.

Jean Stewart treasures all that Australia has offered to enrich her life, and shares that passion in her debut book, Freedom & Hope.

Freedom & Hope is available for $15AU. To buy this wonderful book, select one of the orange buttons below.
Buy 1 Book Delivered Australia Buy 1 Book Delivered Outside Australia Buy 2 Books Free Delivery Worldwide

Prize Winning Writing:

One of the stories in Jean Stewart’s book, Freedom & Hope, long-listed in the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition 2020. That story is Freedom & Hope – the title vignette.

Reviews for Freedom & Hope by Jean Stewart

‘As someone born and bred in Australia with no experience of having to start a new life in another country, Jean’s stories opened my eyes to some of the challenges faced by immigrants. As Australians our view on immigrants can be quite narrow: “They must be so grateful to be able to live in Australia.” After reading Jean’s book I’m hoping I can be more sympathetic to the many challenges and emotions that settling in a new country brings. Congratulations, I’m sure there are years and years of hard labour in your book. I really enjoyed it’…

Monica Cohen.

‘The author follows the path of five women paving their way through their relationships and life in a new country. The chapter ‘Grief’ resonates with all daughters who have lost a much-loved mother and ask, ‘Did I do enough?’ ‘Was there more I should have said and done?’ The final parting for us all is searing. Susannah, like the leopard, manages to move forward relying on the love and strength given and received. Congratulations to Jean for writing about everyday relationships with skill. I look forward to her second book.’

Marise Perry, New Zealand.

Freedom and Hope lifts you on its shoulders and carries you through emotions that are both familiar and new. Jean Stewart beautifully captures moments that bring an immediate warm response from fellow immigrants but also allow for a fresh perspective that tugs at your heart. The stories flow into each other and are brought together in the most unexpected ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey and can’t wait to share the experience with my own ‘Elaine’ and ‘Emelda’.’

Lunè van Heerden, a South African living in South Australia.

A collection of stories about how life links people together in a variety of interesting ways, focusing on a key cast of women. Each woman’s story paints a picture, one where they can only see their own singular facet of the tale, a perfect example of a story with many sides. With each character, Stewart brings a compelling new perspective to the table. This book skilfully portrays the many joys and tribulations that come from living.’

Nita Delgado, Australia.

‘Every so often I read a book that changes me, its layers so poignant they linger. Stewart holds nothing back in exploring the divided self of an immigrant woman in Australia. She expertly weaves intersecting tales that deliver in spades the experience of growing, learning, ebbs and flows, and how as women, we touch each other’s lives, sometimes without knowing the impact we’ve had. A compelling collection of stories by an author who’s lived. Thought provoking, evocative and satisfying.’

Cate Sawyer, Author.

Freedom & Hope is such a joy to read, delving into a woman’s experience of growing, of life as an immigrant coming to Australia from a Commonwealth country. She weaves stories of a variety of women – each painting a picture unique to their cultural history. Stewart’s story ‘Grief’ has left an everlasting memory in which an African leopard upon losing her baby cub swallowed whole by a python, is so aggrieved she does not eat for three days. This animal is sensitively portrayed, its suffering no less than any human I have ever met.’

Evelyn Roth, Community Artist, Canada/Australia.
  • Freedom & Hope RRP $15 AUS.
  • Delivery charge within Australia is $3.80.
  • Delivery charge overseas is $10 per book.
  • For a 2-book bundle delivered anywhere in the world we offer free postage.
  • To order, please use the orange buttons.
Buy 1 Book Delivered Australia Buy 1 Book Delivered Outside Australia Buy 2 Books Free Delivery Worldwide

Long-list Announcements for the Sydney Hammond Memorial Short Story Competition

To explore Australia’s history, you might enjoy Lament by Nicole Kelly.

Or Vietnam… Viet Bloody Nam by Davide A. Cottone.

For a meaningful discussion on relationships, you might enjoy Finding Love Again.

34 comments to “Freedom & Hope”

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  1. Sue Bray - April 6, 2021 Reply

    Your book is absolutely brilliant Jean…you truly have captured so many aspects of such a short read…I can relate to so much of it! Well done..✍👏’

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 6, 2021 Reply

      Hi Sue, You made Jean Stewart’s day. Thank you for posting. Cheers! Carolyn

  2. Lyn Auger - April 6, 2021 Reply

    I finished your book this morning Jean – very enjoyable and relatable! You are very creative in weaving an emotional experience into a credible story – keep it up!😘❤️

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 6, 2021 Reply

      Hi Lyn, Thanks for sending your feedback in. I know Jean is thrilled. Kind regards, Carolyn

  3. Marilyn Kingston - April 6, 2021 Reply

    Jean I’ve read your book 😄It weaves the stories of these women and their different characters and experiences in a new country together very well. There are many situations that ‘all’ women will identify with but particularly new immigrants. Well done! I hope that it does well and you continue to write.

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 6, 2021 Reply

      Hi Marilyn, Thanks for posting. Jean has written a lovely collection of vignettes that we’re proud to have published. Very glad to hear you enjoyed it. Kind regards, Carolyn

  4. Reader, South Australia - April 14, 2021 Reply

    Freedom and Hope has been such an absorbing read, so well written. The connections among the individual stories are subtle and effective.

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 14, 2021 Reply

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I know the author will appreciate your comments. Cheers, Carolyn

  5. Dianne Greene, Sydney - April 14, 2021 Reply

    My mother is a migrant. She has been so absorbed with Freedom & Hope. I am a student and interested in writing short stories. I loved this style! My favourites of the ten are Emelda and Hidden Agenda. I could relate to Lucy!

    • Carolyn Martinez - April 14, 2021 Reply

      Dianne, This is very interesting. Thank you for sharing. Cheers, Carolyn

  6. Linda Clarke - April 20, 2021 Reply

    A beautiful read Jean! ‘Grief’ brought a tear to my eye… I too was in Australia when my mother took ill in England. Migration is not for the faint hearted!

  7. Bruce Marshall - April 20, 2021 Reply

    A very pleasant read! A childhood spent in South Africa then moving to Australia as a young adult.
    Many of life’s lessons encapsulated in ten short stories – very well written!

  8. Kaci Marshall - April 20, 2021 Reply

    ‘Freedom and Hope’ is a beautifully written book, the words by the author are so engaging and the short story style makes it an easy and enjoyable read. Highly recommend!

    Jean, you should be so proud of this book – absolutely brilliant!

  9. Jill Peisach - April 21, 2021 Reply

    I am enjoying your stories very much Jean…. that you are writing about female issues at this time.. prescient! You have captured really well the difficulties women have with reading men… and the expectations of them – particularly in late sixties and early seventies.

  10. Jean Stewart - April 21, 2021 Reply

    I am delighted and humbled by all the feedback and comments! If the stories are relatable in any way that’s gratifying … if they are an absorbing read, that’s a bonus for any writer … new or fully established…
    Jean Stewart

  11. Sharon Williams - April 28, 2021 Reply

    Was given your book over weekend Jean. Read all ten short stories in one go – loved the connections of the main characters! Beautifully written. Well done.

  12. S.Williams - April 30, 2021 Reply

    My wife handed me your book: thought it would be more for women. I enjoyed the read – so well written. Yes Aussies have their own culture, yet we are worthwhile getting to know!

  13. Mick Gatenby - April 30, 2021 Reply

    I have just finished reading Freedom & Hope. Language, structure very appropriate. Thank you for your willing contribution to our lives. You have done well.

  14. Jean Stewart - April 30, 2021 Reply

    Thank you for these recent comments! And such appreciation for all the posts… I read every word! So pleased aspects of the stories resonate..

  15. Dee Bassett - May 13, 2021 Reply

    I could relate to so much in these vignettes – wherever we are we live, learn and move forward…thank you Jean for a good read!

  16. Judy Miles - May 13, 2021 Reply

    Life’s yins and yangs captured in ten tightly and beautifully written stories – a great read!

  17. Joanne Marshall - May 17, 2021 Reply

    I finished your book this morning, read in 2 parts. Left me wanting the big book version now.
    Well done🙌‘

  18. Dennis Clarke - May 23, 2021 Reply

    Emotions of the ten stories portrayed in an understated way, yet have a powerful impact. Well written – a great read.

  19. Anna Murray - May 31, 2021 Reply

    ‘This has been a lovely read. Could relate to so much in these stories.’

  20. D. Carter - May 31, 2021 Reply

    Written in such an authentic way one forgets these are vignettes of fiction. Beautifully portrayed.

  21. Julie Cartwright - June 2, 2021 Reply

    Hi Jean I enjoyed reading your book today. It is very realistic and an inspiration for women . Well done.

  22. Jean Stewart - June 2, 2021 Reply

    Thank you for these latest comments after taking time out to read! Each reply with feedback is so appreciated…
    Jean Stewart

  23. Linda Mills - June 10, 2021 Reply

    These ten stories of fiction jump out as moments of real life experiences. So relatable, beautifully written in an understated way.

  24. B.Mills - June 10, 2021 Reply

    Short stories harder to write than other genres. Freedom & Hope vignettes hook the reader all the way through. Well done Jean!

  25. D. Harris - June 28, 2021 Reply

    A really good read Jean! The stages of life experiences as time moves on are written in a way that impacts.

  26. Stan Hughes - July 25, 2021 Reply

    ‘I look to short stories to fill in a break. Read all ten in one go – a great read.’

  27. Leanne Morris - July 25, 2021 Reply

    ‘I am a migrant – these snapshots of experience in adjusting so beautifully written Jean – loved Freedom & Hope’

  28. Susan Morton - July 25, 2021 Reply

    ‘Wanted this book of ten stories to go on and on. Ended too soon! Well done.’

  29. Jean Stewart - July 25, 2021 Reply

    Thank you all so much for these encouraging comments… each one means a great deal. It’s left me feeling putting myself out there has been worth it!

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