Good Reading : September 2007
From one of New Zealand’s best-loved authors comes the inspiring best-sellers The Denniston Rose and Heart of Coal. ‘Storytelling is her real skill … She knows how a good story works ... It provides romance, tragedy and magic in equal measure.’ — The Australian ‘Violent, brash and colourful, The Denniston Rose glows and ﬂickers with energy.’ — NZ Listener The bleak coal-mining settlement of Denniston sits high above New Zealand’s rugged West Coast — it’s an isolated and inhospitable place that makes or breaks those who live there. Into this chaotic community come ﬁve-year-old Rose and her mother, hauled in an empty coal-wagon, two thousand feet up the terrifyingly steep incline, at night, in the middle of a storm. No one knows what has driven them here, but you’d have to be desperate to choose Denniston. The Denniston Rose and its sequel Heart of Coal brilliantly evoke the spirit of nineteenth-century life in this heart-warming story of love and loss, hope and despair, and a courageous girl who, in the face of hardship, remains a survivor. Jenny Pattrick is a guest of the 2007 Brisbane Writers Festival.