Author(s): Fiona Kidman
Wry, moving, beautifully observed and politically astute, this latest novel from one of our finest chroniclers pinpoints universal truths through very New Zealand lives.
Life isn't always like it appears in the movies. In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations?
Each subsequent episode in this poignant work follows family secrets and the dynamics of Irene's children. The story doesn't just track their lives, but also New Zealand itself as its attitudes and opportunities change : and reverberate : through the decades.
'... perfectly written.' --Lesley Vlietstra, Booksellers New Zealand
'...Kidman is at a literary point when age is all gain -- consummate craft, passion aplenty, the complex resonance of memory, and the edginess that comes from knowing about loss.' --Roger Robertson, New Zealand Books
Fiona Kidman has published over 30 books, including novels, poetry, non-fiction and a play. She has worked as a librarian, creative writing teacher, radio producer and critic, and as a scriptwriter for radio, television and film, but primarily as a writer. The New Zealand Listener wrote: 'In her craft and her storytelling and in her compassionate gutsy tough expression of female experience, she is the best we have.' She has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships; in more recent years The Captive Wife was runner-up for the Deutz Medal for Fiction and was joint-winner of the Readers' Choice Award in the 2006 Montana New Zealand Book Awards, and her short story collection The Trouble with Fire was shortlisted for both the NZ Post Book Awards and the Frank O'Connor Award. She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature, and more recently a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and a Chevalier of the French Legion of Honour.