Return to Eternity

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
342 Pages
Reviewed on 04/15/2020
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Author Biography

I was born in South Australia to an English mother and 5th generation pioneering South Australian farmer and soldier. Following my college graduation, majoring in history, science and the arts, I entered the nursing profession.
I married a farmer and we raised four children together. After moving to Mackay in Queensland, I returned to my nursing career, while my children were still at school. In 1996 I embarked on studies in traditional medicine, becoming a naturopath and acupuncturist. In more recent years I took up creative writing.
I had intended to start with junior fiction, but my intuitive spirit led me on a path into the Australian Bush, where I stood under a gigantic gumtree. Under that very tree, at White patch, Bribie Island, looking out across Pumicestone Passage at the Glass House Mountains, I was inspired to write pre-colonial Aboriginal historic fiction.
My first two novels, Native Companions, followed by Along the Waterways take the reader on a journey back in time to Australian Aboriginal life prior to British occupation.
I became so involved in writing, and creative art that I decided to retire from my health practise to write full time. I am now launching my third book in the Dreamtime Mysteries trilogy, “Return to Eternity”.
Return to Eternity progressed forward to the era following British occupation, as seen through the eyes of the First Nation peoples—their struggles to survive, retain their culture and dignity and earn empathy and recognition in a white dominated society.
Jenni Barnett

    Book Review

Reviewed by Katelyn Hensel for Readers' Favorite

There is a lot to unpack in Return to Eternity, Jenni Barnett's colorful and character-driven drama. I appreciated the preface certainly, as it grounded me in the factual history of colonial Australia that the novel expands upon. This is more than historical fiction; it's a familial drama, a character-focused narrative with multiple main characters we get to study and is, overall, an adventurous read. Rex was a fascinating character to me. As an autistic individual, his perspective and writing tone was much more stylized and stilted. I think this is due to the talents of Ms. Barnett in portraying the calculating mind of a man on the spectrum. However, that's not all he is and I enjoyed that the story sort of acknowledged the autism as just another facet of his personality rather than the primary motivator of his character.

Set against some beautiful images of Australia's scenery and wilderness, the story unfolded well, with some twists and turns that I was not expecting. The Griffins sure were a crazy family. I'd actually like a deeper history and exploration of them, perhaps on their own, as they offered some of the book's more interesting characters and one of the longest segments of the book anyway. Jenni Barnett showed skillful handling of the material and made me interested in exploring more historical fiction set in Australia.