Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

ACRBA Tour: Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins

on November 6, 2012

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve joined the ACRBA (Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance) – this is the first book for this group that I’ve the pleasure of introducing you to.

5 – 9 November

Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance 

is introducing 

Return to Baragula

(Ark house March 2008)

by Mary Hawkins

About the Author:

Mary Hawkins is a best-selling inspirational romance author with other 825,000 romance books in print. During the first few years of being published she also had five medical romance novels released by Harlequin Mills & Boon before concentrating on inspirationals for Barbour Publishing (Ohio). Return to Baragula is her first single title and the first released by an Australia publisher.

Mary was a Queensland farmer’s daughter, became a registered nurse and has a graduate diploma from a Sydney Bible College where she met her husband. Ray is a retired minister who is also a published author. They enjoyed ministries in Australia, three short term mission trips to Africa and two years at a church in England before settling in beautiful Tasmania. They have three adult children and are now proud grandparents. Mary is a member of several writing organisations including American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers America, their Faith Hope Love chapter and Australian Omega Writers. She enjoys speaking appointments and writing workshops where she can share the journey she has been walking for many years with her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Book Description:

Return To Baragula
Over the years Emily Parker’s actions as a teenager have impacted not only her own life, but the lives of many different people.Now, six years later, she returns reluctantly to her home town of Baragula only to discover the man at the heart of those actions, Matthew Davidson, is the community’s respected doctor.

While Emily’s faith is now severely weakened by all that has happened, Matthew’s life has completely turned around since he committed his life to Christ. His personal relationship with God is tested when he discovers how his behaviour when a non-believer hurt so many, especially Emily, and feels responsible for her hardness of heart towards the Lord.

Disease attacks the community while danger from another source threatens Emily and her family. Through it all, will Matthew and Emily’s faith be strong enough to forgive each other and put the past behind them?

My Opinion:


This was my first time to read a book set in Australia and written by an Australian author – and I can’t wait for more.  This book was wonderful – I almost wasn’t sure as there was a scene between two unmarried people – but as I continued reading, the story of love, loss and redemption showed itself clearly.  I guess if the Lord wrote me off as quickly I’d still be floundering in my own selfish sin.  Emily’s story was much like my own, raised in the church, gave her life to Christ early on, then in a moment of passion and temptation she gives in to that sin (although she doesn’t want to recognize it as sin), then turning her back on the Lord – only to come running back to Him.


I have to tell you one of the things I enjoyed about this book was the difference in writing and language.  Some of the phrases I had to read a time or two because it’s not how it is said in America and of course there are different words for places and things – I couldn’t figure out why Emily would need surgery for a sprained ankle until I realized surgery also meant clinic!  It was so much fun reading this book and the story line kept it real, meaning that I can see this happening in real life with the ultimate redemption of His children – the book ends on a happy not but it’s not all happily ever after!


**Disclaimer:  Thank you to Mary Hawkins for providing me a copy of her book in exchange for my honest opinion, no other compensation was given.


3 responses to “ACRBA Tour: Return to Baragula by Mary Hawkins

  1. Michelle D Evans says:

    Hi Sarah, great review. It’s quite amazing how many things we phrase differently hey? Xx

  2. ausjenny says:

    Sarah thanks for posting and for the laugh about surgery, I do understand we say things differently and love your take on this book. I too just read the book and loved it and cant wait to read book 2 and 3.

  3. Mary Hawkins says:

    Thank you, Sarah, for you review. Yes, I have to confess wondering how any American readers would think of this first novel of mine not edited by either an English or American editor! LOL.

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