Author(s): Chessie Henry
Hours after the 2011 Christchuch Earthquake, Kaikoura-based doctor Chris Henry crawled through the burning CTV building to rescue those who were trapped. Six years later, his daughter Chessie interviews him in an attempt to understand the trauma that led her father to burnout, in the process unravelling stories and memories from her own remarkable family history. Chessie rebuilds her familys lives on the page, from her parents honeymoon across Africa, to living in Tokelau as one of five children under ten before returning to New Zealand, where her mother would set her heart and home in the Clarence Valley only to see it devastated in the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, and the family displaced. Written with the same love and compassion that defines her familys courage and strength, We Can Make a Life is an extraordinary memoir about the psychological cost of heroism, home and belonging, and how a family made a life together.