The Book of Secrets

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A classic, prize-winning novel about an epic migration and a lone woman haunted by the past in frontier Waipu.

 
The Book of Secrets, Fiona Kidman

A classic, prize-winning novel about an epic migration and a lone woman haunted by the past in frontier Waipu.

In the 1850s, a group of settlers established a community at Waipu in the northern part of New Zealand. They were led there by a stern preacher, Norman McLeod. The community had followed him from Scotland in 1817 to found a settlement in Nova Scotia, then subsequently to New Zealand via Australia.

Their incredible journeys actually happened, and in this winner of the New Zealand Book Awards, Fiona Kidman breathes life and contemporary relevance into the facts by creating a remarkable fictional story of three women entangled in the migrations - Isabella, her daughter Annie and granddaughter Maria.

McLeod's harsh leadership meant that anyone who ran counter to him had to live a life of secrets. The 'secrets' encapsulated the spirit of these women in their varied reactions to McLeod's strict edicts and connect the past to the present and future.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $29.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9781775532866
    Published: 07/12/2012
    Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
    Extent: 376 pages
    Stock Level: HIGH
    Please note: This information is intended for booksellers only and does not reflect the number of copies currently available in stores. If you are not a bookseller and wish to purchase this book, please contact your local bookstore, or click on the buy now button to find a good retailer.
  • Paperback
    $29.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9781869412197
    Published: 01/03/1999
    Imprint: RHNZ Vintage
    Please note: This information is intended for booksellers only and does not reflect the number of copies currently available in stores. If you are not a bookseller and wish to purchase this book, please contact your local bookstore, or click on the buy now button to find a good retailer.
  • eBook
    CHECK RETAILER PRICE
    ISBN: 9781775533559
    Published: 07/12/2012
    Imprint: RHNZ Adult ebooks
    Extent: 376 pages
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"The novel is truthful in the ways that history never is, in creating the lives of ordinary, important people." - Christchurch Press

"In the craft of her storytelling and in her compassionate gutsy tough expression of female experience, she is the best we have." - NZ Listener

"The Book of Secrets is . . . being hailed as Fiona Kidman’s best and most ambitious novel to date. It traces familiar ground in her work, women’s lives and intertwined histories, but lifts them into a wider and more reverberative fabrication." - Dominion Sunday Star Times

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Fiona Kidman

Fiona Kidman

Fiona Kidman has published over 25 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. ‘We cannot talk about writing in New Zealand without acknowledging her,' wrote New Zealand Books. ‘Kidman's accessible prose and the way she shows (mainly) women grappling to escape from restricting social pressures has guaranteed her a permanent place in our fiction.'

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