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Penelope Todd
May 2024
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Nell is born to a new century, her early life forged in the freedoms of the NZ high country. Her own freedom is tested: by family expectation, by husband Herb's pride, by the rigours of family life on a Maniototo sheep station. Nell dares to step beyond the bounds; she revels and stumbles in love; encounters the perils of a woman's life, of motherhood and loss; she embraces the consolation of friendship and seeks a worldview that can hold it all. In this vivid and lyrically narrated chronicle of a life, readers will resonate with Nell's quintessentially New Zealand character- her failings, her integrity, her compassion and strength. "In writing a novel of her life, I expected gaps and guesswork, but instead found a presence and a life, vivid and corporeal, that unfolded scene by scene." Emma Neale:"... an astonishingly vivid and moving chronicle of an individual's life ... A kind of spiritual biography."