Author(s): Jenny Pattrick
Heart-warming and compulsive reading, this is an entertaining, lively and moving novel from one of New Zealand's favourite authors. 'Donny Mac was released at Eastertime about a month before Pansy Holloway, also known as Nightshade, disappeared for good.' After a short stint in prison on trumped-up charges, the loveable simpleton Donny Mac returns to the house left to him by his grandfather in the small settlement of Manawa, in the shadow of Mt Ruapehu. Now inhabited by a handful of colourful locals, the once prosperous milling town is only bustling in the ski season when the out-of-towners arrive. Awaiting Donny's return is the drunken and pregnant Nightshade, who claims he is the father. Donny's friends keep watch anxiously: the lace-making Bull Howie; Vera who can be seen every evening wheeling Bull's dinner in a pram down to his house in her own version of meals on wheels; farmer George Kingi and his fey four-year-old daughter Lovey; and the strange elderly sisters who have moved in next door. Also watching is the Virgin Tracey, a sixteen-year-old hiding out in one of the abandoned houses, with her own tiny baby. When an accident threatens to put Donny back into prison, he and the Virgin Tracey come up with a solution. But can the secret remain hidden?
Jenny Pattrick is an acclaimed historical novelist, whose The Denniston Rose, and its sequel Heart of Coal, are among New Zealand's biggest-selling novels. They have also been republished in illustrated editions. The former teacher and jeweller's novels include the Whanganui novel Landings, and Inheritance, set in Samoa, which have been number one bestsellers in New Zealand. Other titles include Catching the Current (2005), In Touch with Grace (2006), and Skylark (2012). In 2009 she received the New Zealand Post Mansfield Fellowship. She has been active in the arts community, and has also written stories, songs and shows for children. Identified by Nicky Pellegrino as 'one of this country's most talented storytellers', it has been said that she 'writes with the assuredness of a veteran', creating 'an authentic stage for a cast of characters who interact in ways that always ring true' (The Christchurch Press). Reviewing Landings, Graham Beattie concluded: 'It is not surprising that she is one of NZ's most popular contemporary novelists and this fine piece of historical fiction will further enhance that well-deserved reputation.'