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ALL DAY AT THE MOVIES: Family Saga Novel ~Fiona Kidman

Monday, February 5th, 2018

ALL DAY AT THE MOVIES is a beautifully told story of women who live in New Zealand starting in 1950 and continuing the story to the present day.  This is a story primarily of women and how they change a society with a few gutsy moves and through fabulously written words that just hold the narrative firmly in the reader’s mind.  The characters assist in the understanding of poverty, societies expectations, and norms all the while reflecting the change that the women are pursuing towards making a difference.

In 1952, war widow Irene Sandle takes up work in the New Zealand’s tobacco fields, hoping to build a new life for herself and her daughter.  But the bold act of female self-sufficiency triggers a sequence of events whose repercussions are still felt long after Irene’s death.  Against a backdrop of immense social and political change, Irene’s four children lead disparate lives, and learn how far family ties can bind – or be lost forever.

Fiona Kidman has written well-over 30 books and her writing parallels her own life story and the lessons she learned while being a journalist, script writer and producer.  “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 (New Zealand) fiction.”

How Kidman could fill such a short book (300+ pages) with so many details and feelings, while moving the story line forward was amazing.  The reader was at the waves-water’s edge and then thoroughly surrounded by forest as one felt the character’s thoughts and feelings about the circumstances of the moment.  The reader is in the story and the story stays with the reader long after the last page has been consumed.

Kidman grew up in the Far North of New Zealand in small rural settlements where her parents farmed.  Later her family moved to the center of a major Scots migration.  In the thermal town of Rotorua, Kidman met her husband Ian, a schoolteacher, who is of Maori descent.  They live in Wellington now, and have lived there for 45 years, Kidman takes pride in the mixed cultural descendants who are Maori, Greek, Dalmatian, Spanish, and Chinese and is involved in refugee and migrant organizations.

Read more at  http://www.fionakidman.com

With unflinching honesty and characteristic compassion, Fiona Kidman deftly exposes the fragility of even the closest human relationships, as she weaves together the narratives of a family and its changing fortunes across fifty years and three generations. (cover)

Like a maker of fine lace, Kidman twists each thread of her plot – leaving some dangling while she gathers up others, weaving and crisscrossing each other until they meet to create a superbly crafted centre piece. (Daily Post)

The writing was so incredible in this book, I wish I could get many, many people to read this and enjoy the story.  Women do make change happen often.

Playing St. Barbara
Hannah Coulter
Sing Them Home

This lovely book was sent to me for review by:
Rachel Hundert, Senior Publicist
Meryl Zegarek Public Relations, Inc.
P: 917-493-3601 RH@mzpr.com
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LEFT TURN AT PARADISE: A Rare Book Mystery ~Thomas Shawver

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

“The more I observed, in fact, the more  I thought Professor Middleditch’s instincts were correct – the marae was nothing more than a Potemkin village established to fool the Inland Revenue and the Ministry for Maori Development; a ruse to grant Ivo Mackin full title to the land.”  (At 64% on Kindle –unproofed copy)

Michael Bevan’s at it again trying to make his Antiquarian bookstore in Kansas City his main business enterprise. His friend Josie is certainly helping him make the best of a tough situation, and yet they both hope the bookstore will find it’s prize treasure.  Wouldn’t you just know it; Bevan’s finds a hidden journal by a mariner who was on Captain James Cook’s voyages to the South Seas and Hawaii. The bookstore may just make those dreams come true if a buyer can be found at the California International Book Fair.  This certainly could be the turning point.

In California, Bevan’s discovers that there are actually three journals and a British bookseller owns journal #2 – until both journals are stolen and a young man disappears.  The adventure begins and takes the reader to New Zealand and into the mountains, to rugby games and to meet scholars galore all of whom are hoping to cash in and own the whole set.  The pace is fast and steady, with many of the most interesting pitfalls and distractions one can imagine happening on boat rides and in the mountains with the natives attempting to protect their leader, the multimillion dollar mining expert, rescuer of the Maori youth and owner of the third journal.  There is never a dull moment and lots of surprises along the way.

I once again enjoyed learning about rare books and I loved looking up words and geography of New Zealand’s National Parks and Mountainous regions.  I brushed up on my Hawaiian legends and myths, I took a small detour to read more about Captain James Cook and his travels, and I thought about the rich and the poor in many communities and how they are acting out in various ways – including with violence towards each other and certainly towards Caucasian people.

I was happy to read LEFT TURN AT PARADISE because I had also reviewed THE DIRTY BOOK MURDER  by Shawver earlier this year.  It was a good days read maybe for a hiking trip, although I was glad to be home and looking up extra research on the work, and it is an ebook and quite inexpensive with an e – reader.  Books will not be available until after August 26th, 2014 so I should not have put a quote on this review because I cannot check it against the final copy of the printed material.

tlc logo Thank you to TLC online Booktours  for choosing me to review this fun book.  I know many of my readers will enjoy the adventure in this mystery – LEFT TURN AT PARADISE.

Book #3 – THE WIDOWS SON is on the way in the Rare Book Mystery Tour

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