A Word Before I Go – Barbara Whitley

‘What you are thinking about me is right,’ says I, ‘and it’s wonderful and beautiful, and if you make it ugly for me I’ll hate you for the rest of my life!’ So flopping down and turning my poor brave face to the wall … I’m still glad I said that.

Raised in a Sydney family of successful older brothers and sisters, young Barbara Whitley is determined to find her own direction. Her choices are instinctive but not always wise in the cramped world of the 1930s – a degree in Classics that fitted her for no profession, bad choices in men, taking a flat on her own when she’d grown up in the warmth of a loving family, a thoughtless marriage choice. The Second World War comes, and Barbara’s struggle for selfhood is further constrained, not least by the birth of her daughter and the failure of her marriage. And yet, luck finally takes a hand, in the form of a handsome lieutenant on leave in Sydney.

ISBN: 978-0-6487469-0-4 – paperback
ISBN: 978-0-6487469-1-1 – ebook

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With an Introduction by Garry Kinnane

‘I saw from the start that Barbara’s memoir was too well-written and too interesting to be left moldering in a drawer. It had relevance not just to family and friends but also as a chronicle of its time and settings for any interested reader. So here it is, freshly edited and tidied up, an account of her adult life by an intelligent, independent-minded, talented woman.’