A story by by Kathleen Gallagher
Drawings by Michael Coughlan
An historical novel set in c19th West Coast NZ, exploring the birthing of a new way of being when folk from opposite ends of the earth holding vastly differing values, languages and world views, cross the Southern Alps tramping through mountains, forests and wild rivers, and then attempt to live together.
“This beautifully wrought novel set in the wilds of New Zealand southern West Coast during the gold rush days, demonstrates the manner in which all kinds of people were thrown together in a race for riches and survival. It abounds with adventure and romance, but it is the tender evocation of the natural world and the delicate interweaving of races exploring each other’s cultural identities that gives this story its vivid edge.”Dame Fiona Kidman
“A lyrical love-letter to our unique environment and history, told with heart and passion.” – Mandy Hager
“This historical novel, set in the 19th century, plaits together tough as flax-root narrative prose and poetic imagery to tell a timeless love story. It links people with the natural environment, and blends languages, cultures, shared endeavour and compassion in a vivid multi-cultural epiphany.”John Weir
“Kathleen Gallagher’s writing offers and exuberant and evocative sense of a West Coast world that she clearly loves – only love could sense the sounds and smell of wet bush so sensitively painted here. She draws on the extraordinary historical mix of ethnicity, culture, religion and gender which frames the older history of Te Tai Poutini and constructs an intimate human mosaic. Her story is fiction which gives truth to place. Her sense of place gives truth to the fiction.” Tipene O’Reagan