Bridge trilogy

The bridge trilogy by Melissa Baker

A book series about Mel’s life story.

Book 1: Sleeping Under the Bridge

To the passer-by, Mel seemed like an ordinary teenager growing up in a middle-class suburban family in Sydney, Australia; but to those who wanted to get to know her, they could see she was hiding from the truth. 

Mel had encountered more than most had experienced in a lifetime before she had reached 17. She yearned for freedom, yet what prevailed were threats, abuse and being trapped in an underworld of shame. With all her might, she tried not to give in to the loneliness that stalked her and the fear that plagued her, whilst sleeping under the bridge. Can she reveal her secrets before it’s too late?

This gripping brave true story speaks into adults from all walks of life from children that have gone through sexual, physical and emotional abuse and how that affected their internal rhythm. Nothing could hold Mel together other than her determination to search for the true meaning of life itself. 


“An intelligent, harrowing, and boldly confessional account of a survivor.” – KIRKUS REVIEW

“It is a book about hope and how the human spirit holds onto life and deep down knows that with love and compassion, a life worth living can be found. This book is a powerful read.”  – David Vernon, Stringybark Publishing

“Mel’s story should not be put aside and forgotten. It should be read by everyone and discussed by everyone. This story could be the springboard for putting an end to the outrages perpetrated against the vulnerable people in our society.” – Dr Rick Williams

Print on demand, eBook and Audio available now
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Book launch event happened on Sunday 7 August 2022 – see Events

What is to come in Mel’s life story:

Book 2: Building the Bridge

Having been stuck and silenced for years, I found a way out of that exasperating life. I was no longer chained to punishment and blamed for their ill-attacks on me. The scars remained hidden for many years. Until one day in my mid 30s, I found the courage to make police statements against some of the men who sexually abused me as a child.

I started to build a bridge. With no support around, along the journey I opened my life to new beginnings. I found myself working as a graphic artist in Tari, Papua New Guinea for three months when I was 18. I learned to trust, to love without reserve, to forgive, to have faith and where to look for hope. These came at a cost. The journey took many roads and adventures, including lots of overseas travel. I learned what it meant to walk in faith as I faced corrupt police officers who tried to rape me in Bangladesh. Two years later, I was in Africa, where the Congolese were shooting at our vehicle on the Zambian border trying to kidnap me for ransom. A month later, I was in Northern Uganda, standing in a village ruined by the LRA led by Kony. A week later we were travelling just outside of Kampala, having listened to my intuition and found my voice again, I saved our lives from death. Three years following, I was travelling through Indonesia in a time where all Australians and aid workers had left as it was unsafe. In Sulawesi, I was interrogated one morning by the secret police on the way to leave for the island of Buton where we were helping refugees. I safely returned to Jakarta, after a few weeks, where I was the guest speaker for the largest youth rally, where again I spoke of hope and saw lives changed.

Book 3: Climbing the Bridge

Now aged 36, I have been working for the NSW Police Force for two years to help support officers on the frontline suffering from trauma. I started my doctoral thesis in adult education and training at the same time. This took me to work for New Zealand Police Service, The London Met during the bombings, Police Service of Northern Ireland where peace was still on a knife edge and Hong Kong police just before they were handed back to China. I finally felt like I was living my best life.

At 40, I found my freedom to stand up for myself and leave my husband. I felt I gave it my best shot, after 19 years of marriage, I felt I wasn’t trapped anymore. It was my first real sense as an adult of not being stuck under abuse. My new found freedom didn’t last long. After 7 years in the police force, I joined the Royal Australian Navy as an officer. I thought it was the first day of the rest of my free life. The cycle of abuse and trauma happened all over again, after two sexual assaults as well as life threatening bullying being trapped on a ship heading to the Middle East for war. If I had made it to war, then it wouldn’t have affected me at all; however, it was the people within the service that I worked alongside that brought me to my knees. 

How does one start life again in their 50s? Working through years of therapy, I felt my emotions deep for the first time in my life. My wall of protection under the bridge was gone. I found my voice once more. First, I needed to learn to nurture myself and love me as who I was and all that I had gone through in life. I now speak up for the voiceless and powerless to help them find strength within and to empower them to be the best they can be having climbed the bridge.