Do you know where my missing classmates are today?


294 pages
Price: £12.99



Annette Allen

Annette is half-English, half-Norwegian and lives in south east England, with her husband and son. She spent much of her childhood living out of suitcases, as the family travelled from place to place, following her father’s aeronautical career. Most of her childhood was spent in Africa: Ethiopia and South Africa. When she witnessed the endemic poverty in these countries and the brutality of apartheid, she developed a strong sense of justice for these people, who had so little, and yet were often happier than we were, with all our material possessions. Her simple, Christian faith grew from such encounters.

After returning to Britain in the early 1970’s, she moved into corporate communications, working for major international companies, including McDonald’s, BT and Diageo. She won awards for some of her work, but as she approached 40, life began to seem increasingly meaningless.

Everything changed in 1992, when she stopped work to care for her terminally ill mother. Planning ahead was futile: every day was precious. Annette began to question what life was really all about. In particular, she was puzzled by the three clear dreams she had between 1970 – 1973. Did these foretell her destiny?

Her first book. “An Ethiopian Odyssey”, is about her quest to find nine classmates from her schooldays in Addis Ababa in 1964, prompted by another dream in April 2000: she’d returned there to help provide water. Little did she anticipate that she would cross three continents to track them down, helped by kind strangers around the world. The quest finished in February 2005, at St. Paul’s Chapel in New York, the little church of such peace beside Ground Zero.

The book sold in 21 countries, albeit small quantities. Radio interviews have reached 15 million people around the world. She is also the first self published author to give a book talk at the United Nations, hosted by the Ethiopian ambassador to the UN – a great honour and amazing achievement for a first-time author. The book and her searing testimony about our compassionate mind and interconnectedness has inspired hundreds of people and organisations to donate to WaterAid and other NGOs who provide life changing, clean water and sanitation for the very poor. (Half the royalties go to WaterAid in Ethiopia.)

A former functioning alcoholic,  Annette’s second book (being published in 2018) is about family addictions, showing how the present mirrors the past, unless we can remember our childhood pain.  By totally accepting it, and introducing new habits, the past is healed, thus lifting the shame.  Neuroscience, new rituals, and a supportive community of other recovering addicts  and most of all, an awareness that we are each loved unconditionally as we are, no matter how broken we feel, will help most to recover - permanently.  Half the royalties will go to help homeless people and the children of alcoholics.  The book is dedicated to Eric, and everyone who never made it through……

Today, she helps others quit drinking and stay alcohol free, via a great online community:  

Annette Allen c 2017

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