Do you know where my missing classmates are today?


294 pages
Price: £12.99



Your Reviews

The book has been written for people from 14-100, and your views are really important to me. Here’s a snapshot from the initial readers. I’ve given their first name and the town where they live:

I just loved this book. What a fantastic journey Annette takes you on. I love the fact that throughout her journey (I don't want to give details away), multiple connections through different people at different times had all benefitted Annette in achieving her dreams and visions she experienced early on. As the saying goes, one door closes, another truly does open. Annette was also not afraid to let you experience her personal life at some very dark and heart breaking moments and having experienced some of these within my own family myself, could not help but relate to some of this. I class myself as agnostic and respect those who have and do follow specific faiths themselves. I found the following phrase therefore, very welcoming to read (shortened for ease) 'It had become increasingly clear that there were many very good people who didn't go to church. They had consciously decided to find their peace through other ways........and helping people around them on a daily basis,.......every path finally has to lead to that deep peace within us'. I found the journey Annette travelled, as described in this book, not only a fascinating and honest read, but it only proves that each one of us has the capability within, to help our fellow beings, by something, no matter how small or large, to be able to make a positive difference to someone's life. Annette has this gift in abundance and may her dream to provide water to the Ethiopian people continue to grow and strengthen.

I also kept this quote from her book in mind 'Standing up and being counted for what you believe in is becoming increasingly rare in our societies, as we strive to fit in with what is acceptable.........Therein lies the madness, because true sanity comes from feeling, thinking, saying and behaving in ways that reflect our souls'. I eagerly await the second book from Annette, which I hope will be just as honest and humbling as this one was. May you have every success.

Fe, Newbury.

I read the book as a very personal story. Why should an English woman from Buckinghamshire devote herself to providing water for the poor of distant Ethiopia? There seem to be two reasons: your faith and your dreams. To be candid, some people will be put off by such answers, raising their doubts that these could be motivating factors for such an odyssey.

Not me – as you stated in the preface: ‘following your life’s purpose lets you discover just how connected you are to every living thing on the planet.’

I strongly identified with your book. You are an exceptionally idealistic and creative person. Bravo!

Daniel, Jerusalem

I just loved your book and it moved me a lot emotionally. Not so much through the moving stories of you and your classmates. Even though it was fascinating to read how all your lives have evolved.

It particularly moved me so much because it showed me once more how important it is to follow your destiny. Unfortunately, we live in a world where (at least in the Western society) materialistic success is valued so much more than any other success. I look forward to the second part of your odyssey!

Gaby, Munich

Your book is brilliant! I found it fascinating that you could have such plans, such ideals and did so much travelling and met so many people. I so admire your perseverance and determination to see all those people, even in high places. You certainly deserve huge sales!

Ruth, Bedford.

A friend recommended your book, as a modern guide to spirituality. “An Ethiopian Odyssey” is a masterpiece! I was profoundly moved – particularly to discover such faith in a loving God – and here in the UK. I’m telling all my friends to buy it!

Paul, London.

What a beautifully written book! I felt like I was on the journey and quest myself, feeling the pain and joy in equal measures, the frustrations and the relief!

Annette has shown how one can follow one's dreams through obstacles and hurdles, and how kindness and compassion can be found in the furthest corners of the globe, and in the strangest of circumstances! I cannot wait until book 2.

Ian, Chelmsford.

How many of us have certain dreams and turn them into God's mission to do something for less privileged in life in this selfish and materialistic world we all live in? Annette has made her mission through her Water Aid Project for Ethiopian people. The book is a journey from Annette's childhood in Ethiopia, which everyone who gets an opportunity should read. I hope this book will surely inspire others who have visions to do something about their dreams. A great book!

Raj, Harrow, Middx.

I thoroughly enjoyed your book. You are a very courageous person! It made me
appreciate the fact that I can run a tap and have hot and cold water each day! I hope we can meet up one day.

Lena, Cape Town

I have found "An Ethiopian Odyssey" to be wonderful and inspiring.

In an age in which the world is beset by economic and social problems, I'm glad to see the salvation of the Almighty God in manifesting his unconditional love and peace in helping the poor through his people like yourself. I wish you success on your noble cause.

Reading Annette's story you are filled with the desire to know more and find out the paths that her school friends have taken. It makes you feel that the world is not as big and divided a place as you tend to expect. This story comes straight from the heart and is refreshingly honest and open. In these difficult and mostly selfish times it is encouraging and enlightening to see that people will go out their way to help others to achieve their dream.

Marina, Egham, Surrey

A searingly honest and impassioned book, told with such heartfelt intensity that one cannot help but be drawn along with it. The story wonderfully demonstrates the kindness inherent in ordinary people and gives the sense that the world is really not such a large and divided place after all.

Felix, London

An Ethiopian Odyssey gives the reader what it says: an odyssey. This is not one story, but many stories tied into one book, and I am sure a few of theses stories will touch something in your heart as it did in mine. Enjoy a Very Good Read and give people water...

Full Review

Green, Australia

For anyone who has questioned the meaning of life and looked for a way to make a lasting contribution, this book is an inspiration. An Ethiopian Odyssey is not just about following your beliefs, but also about discovering real strength that can come only through true faith. What started out as a Friends Reunited story takes the author half way across the world, battling against the odds in the pursuit of her dreams, to make a lasting contribution to the people of Ethiopia.

As a frequent commuter, never have so many fellow travellers asked me about a book I was reading. Moving stuff indeed!

Gary, Peterborough, England

This is an incredible story written from the heart. A human story of faith, warmth and courage. An easy writing style that really takes you on the journey with the author. A lovely read.
Ken, Guildford, England

Fabulous book! The author takes you with her as she tries to rediscover old school friends after 40 years of 'growing up'. Fired on by her incredible dreams that come true, Annette revelas how interconnected we are. I especially liked the biographies aobut her old school friends in a changing political world.
Annie, Akeley, England

A thoroughly good read, excellently researched
Pascal, Nenagh, Ireland

What a page turner! Really enjoyed it, and can't wait for book 2. I think you've done a very good job with the cover, with its colours and intriguing introduction. I was also very impressed when I visited the website. More power to you, hope it sells lots for your cause: water.
George, London

I have read your book from cover to cover. Thank you. It is a delight to read it because it deals with real lives, not fiction.
Abune Berhaneyesus Souraphiel, Addis Ababa

A really uplifting read. I discussed it with my daughter, who loved it too – it’s made her think about how she can help the developing world.
Ellen, Buckingham

I really enjoyed reading your book, and wish you every success in your dream for permanent clean water for Ethiopia and a Peace garden in Jerusalem. That would be a miracle!
Pat, Gloucester

First of all, I enjoyed reading it. I found the subject, the overall themes and philosophies well worth reading. There was a small battle, however, between your schoolmates’ stories and your own. But, all in all, the message for world peace, for individual peace, for faith and believing in miracles and dreams embedded in your biography was really good.
Evelyn, Germany

I enjoyed the “Odyssey” very much, particularly the parts when you meet up with significant people. They really come alive for me.
Anne, Farnborough, Hampshire

I have read your Ethiopian Odyssey book and really enjoyed it. Tremendous! I thought I would let you know how I came to hear about the book.

On a trip back to the UK, my youngest daughter listened to an old "Joseph" musical CD. After which she asked if God still speaks to people in dreams. I replied, yes sometimes He does.

That then reminded me that I had heard something about dreams on Premier Radio. I only heard about the last five minutes of you on the show, and then the book was mentioned. Instead of the expected book about "how to interpret dreams" you mentioned the Ethiopian Odyssey. This was immediately of interest to me because of some close friends are Ethiopian, so I ordered the book!
Ray, Belgium

I found the Ethiopian Odyssey to be an entertaining, educational, spiritual and thought-provoking book. Reading it was like travelling to all those places with you, feeling what you were feeling, and meeting all those people from different educational, economic and cultural backgrounds. I enjoyed it so much, that I was disappointed when it ended. I look forward to reading volume II.
Yodit, USA

I thought I'd take my time to read it, but just couldn't put it down once I'd begun. I can relate to some of the experiences you went through, and it was exciting to read how the doors opened along your journey. My daughters are looking forward to reading it next.
Sandra, Buckingham

Your book is excellent and well written
Leikun, Washington DC

I found it a gripping and very readable story.
Richard, Addis Ababa

It was an easy read, cover to cover. You get straight to the point. Learning about Ethiopia was interesting, as I would never have bothered reading about their history. You certainly travelled a long way and some of the connections were amazing, especially finding your classmate's second cousin a mile up the road from you! I would definitely recommend it.
Helen, St.Albans

I thoroughly enjoyed your book. The descriptions of the places you visited made me feel that I was there beside you. It was particularly interesting to contrast the Ethiopia of the 1960's with Ethiopia today. I enjoyed the spiritual elements, they weren't overdone. I think Ethio-Americans would really like the 'Odyssey.'
Therese, Buckingham

Your story is absolutely fascinating and has kept me gripped on the journey to and from work. It's amazing how, once you set out on your journey, everything came together for you, in line with your vision in May 1995. A highly recommended read!
Irene, Buckingham

I really enjoyed it. It was a good way to learn more about Ethiopia through the story- I wouldn't for example have picked up a history book. So well done - held my interest throughout.
Linda, Kingston on Thames.

As a result of Linda’s feedback, the latest index has my former classmates names listed in bold, so you can track who they were.

This is to let you know that I have finished reading your book and enjoyed it very much. I had a lump in my throat and could hardly hold back my tears about your mother's illness and the care and love you have shown her. Reading some of the paragraphs of your book more than once, I was very impressed at the way you have expressed your views about politics and the suffering world in general. I am also deeply grateful to you for mentioning about the Armenian Genocide more than once, given that it is not in keeping with "political correctness" with quite a few politicians in the West!!
Cosette, London.

I really enjoyed it. There were moments when I couldn’t put the book down. I felt very emotional at times. Your visions made me feel uncomfortable, I don’t know why. The coincidences were really amazing. It kept me gripped from cover to cover; in fact I was very disappointed when it ended. When is book 2 out?!
Peter, Kington, Worcestershire.


October 2007

Addis ConneXion [PDF 120K]

May 2007

Communication World [PDF 800K]

October 2006 [PDF 110K]

The Spire, December 2006: SS Peter & Paul’s monthly magazine.

By Joe McMorrow

“It is rare these days to come across a book with a laudable purpose, an honest and frank interpretation of faith, a historic view of this fascinating part of the world, and the human beings who live and have lived there. When I first started reading, I harboured narrow thoughts of what I expected the book to contain – a “Friends Reunited” dialogue, along the lines of ‘what my classmates are up to now.’

True, it is an account of the lives of several individuals, not least Annette, the writer, but it covers far more: historical accounts of Ethiopia, the different customs, ways of life and how things have changed over the years.

Annette (who lives in Buckingham) gives an honest appraisal of her life and faith, even mentioning Buckingham town, SS Peter & Paul’s church (where she is a member of the congregation) and various other church goers! (To add a hint of mystery and intrigue, I am not going to say who or how accurate the descriptions are!)

I found it a compelling read, I wanted to know what happened next, and how things would turn out. For Annette, it was a leap of faith to research and then publish a book, this came over to me stronger than anything else – someone who, in this jaded world of Corporate Ladder climbing and getting the Jag on the driveway, took a step - with God as her guide - into the unknown. We all have dreams but Annette, portrayed in this book, has made her dream a reality, embarking on a 25,000 mile trip, trusting to God during the rough times, and always striding towards her Spiritual Destination.

I hope one day to have the courage enough of my own to chase a dream or two. As this inspiring read shows – it can be done!

I don’t want to dwell on what the book contains, as I am sure the less you know now, the more enjoyable the discoveries within the pages will be. One powerfully moving paragraph – which for me is the very essence of the book – describes the ordeals many Ethiopians endure on a daily basis for want of water, and yet still have towering faith.

‘An older man interrupted: “If it wasn’t for God’s will, we would all be dead from the inconvenience and sickness brought by the river water.”’

Despite their grinding poverty, these good people are thankful for what they have, a lesson for us all. We would do well to remember that although presently slumbering beneath the scorched earth, dark apocalyptic spectres of drought and famine ever lurk, waiting to roam the plains once again. Bob Geldof and his band of pop stars previously highlighted the Ethiopian famine several years ago, with the song: ‘Do they know it’s Christmas time?’ and the Band Aid concerts. The only time I can recall crying when reading a book was Bob Geldof’s autobiography, during the chapter when he described what he saw when he landed amid the famine.

Annette’s original dream involved bringing water (the most basic building block of life) through this book, to the suffering masses in Ethiopia – and so 50% of the proceeds from sales will go to WaterAid charities. I’d say ‘An Ethiopian Odyssey’ would still be cheap at twice the price.

Impressions, British Airways Middle East Division in-flight magazine
December/January 2007

BA Impressions Magazine [PDF 70K]

An Ethiopian Odyssey

Inspired by a dream she had at the beginning of the millennium, Annette Allen travelled to Ethiopia, a country she had spent some time at school during the 60s, in an effort to reunite with her old school friends and observe the trajectory of their lives. The ensuing search is a real odyssey, as Allen travels over 40,000km through Ethiopia, Europe and America to find each of her 38 classmates, armed only with a black and white school photo as an aide-memoire. But the series of coincidences that lead Allen on her journey are astonishing. More than anything, it is a testament to the power of friendship, set in a beautiful country.

July 2005

The Door [PDF 980K]

November 2004

Tadias [PDF 290K]



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