I’m a big fan of Melissa-Jane Pouliot’s work, and not just because she is a fellow MJ, but because she has turned a family tragedy into a passion – a passion to educate and spread awareness of missing people and those who are affected by such tragedies. You see, Pouliot’s cousin, Ursula Dianne Barwick, was last seen on Friday 14 August 1987 (Pouliot, Write About Me, pp. 251-253), so this is an issue that sits close to her heart. Since the release of Pouliot’s first novel Write About Me, her popularity has led to increased media attention for missing persons and I can only hope that this is the start of a successful journey for Pouliot.
Pouliot’s second novel Find Me, I found to be just as enjoyable as the first, and no less important. I really liked Find Me a lot and I love the character of Rhiannon McVee. The scenes from outback Australia were so wonderfully descriptive and I felt completely immersed in the story and the characters, and although I tried to take my time because I didn’t want the story to end, it was just too addictive and I couldn’t put it down. As with Write About Me as well, I really appreciated how close to reality this story read. It was easy to imagine the characters being real, and I loved being able to recognise so many typical Aussie names, places and things. But it wasn’t just the way the story read that I enjoyed, it was also the fact that the story is so important. ‘When one goes missing many more are lost’ is what reads on the front cover, and I found this simple quote to be so very powerful. It’s hard for me to even imagine what it would feel like to have a loved one go missing and to never find out what happened to them, but Pouliot’s stories give the reader some insight into how one missing person affects so many others. I only hope that there is a Rhiannon McVee out there helping families of missing people today, what a wonderful character she is – I can’t wait to read more of her stories!
You can find out more about Melissa-Jane Pouliot and her writing by checking out her blog and you can find more information about missing persons in Australia from the following websites: