Freedom & Hope

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. See orange buttons below reviews to purchase your copy.

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

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 is available from 1st March 2021. You can pre-purchase now and your book will be posted to you to arrive on, or shortly after, 1st March, 2021.

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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.

Carolyn Martinez

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