Blackball, West Coast, pre-World War I. Three youngsters; Pansy, Clem and Otto. Life had an idyllic surface with a far from idyllic underside for youngsters in this mining town. As a World War approaches, the harsh realities become apparent — just because you are smart and motivated there is no certainty that you can advance yourself in this world, especially if you are a girl. With a light hand on a dark time in history, Paddy Richardson navigates the territory between “Denniston Rose” and “Birdsong” with great skill. Characters you want to cry for battle on against themselves, family, society and world events.
About the author
Paddy Richardson is the author of five novels, The Company of a Daughter, A Year to Learn a Woman, Hunting Blind, Traces of Red, Cross Fingers and her latest from Upstart Press, Swimming in the Dark. She has written two collections of short stories, Choices and If I Were Lebanese. Her writing has appeared in journals, anthologies, and on radio, and she has been the recipient of the University of Otago Burns Fellowship, the Beatson fellowship, the University of Otago/James Wallace residency and the Foxton writer’s residency. She lives in Dunedin, where she writes and teaches courses in creative writing.
A strong portrayal of life in a small west coast New Zealand town, and a vivid story of first world war tunnellers.