Author(s): Linda Niccol
Linda Niccol's second book of short stories The Temperature of Water is a wonderfully varied collection of tales which will take you under the surface of the oft times frantic lives of those seeking solace, understanding, redemption and love.
Named after the novella, The Temperature of Water, this collection extends her range and depth into the obsessive worlds of scientific invention, the challenges for those coping with an MS sufferer and a Down syndrome girl, and the brittle worlds of casually formed relationships some want more out of, no matter the cost. From the opening sentences these stories bristle with tensions and often a sense of impending doom lurking beneath the recognisable Kiwi domestic conventions.
None illustrates this better than the title story of a backyard inventor of a most persuasive gadget derailed by the opposing forces of his desire to save the world and his wife and new baby's needs.
These stories tug at your sympathies, as a man tries to cope with a corporate highflying partner suddenly suffering memory loss and a blind man wants to believe he is worthy of love. Your heart will flutter with dread or hope, a tear may come to your eye. But the story of a butterfly entering a crowded bus and provoking contact between strangers ends the book with a huge smile.
Niccol lives on the Kapiti Coast - Wellington's Bay of Islands, according to Linda - with her husband Eion and their young daughter Eve. Keen decorators and collectors, their striking 1970s Raumati house featured in Second-Hand Wedding.
Contents include: The temperature of water -- The handkerchief -- The toy -- Poppy -- Tory Vivian -- Still life -- Big C epiphany -- Carol, unplugged -- Fog -- The flood -- Tatiana -- Monarch.