The bleak coal-mining settlement of Denniston, isolated high on a plateau above New Zealand's West Coast, is a place that makes or breaks those who live there. All sorts arrive here to work the mines and bring down the coal: ex-goldminers down on their luck, others running from the law or from a woman or worse. They work alongside recruited English miners, solid and skilled, who scorn these disorganised misfits and want them off the hill.
Into this chaotic community come five-year-old Rose and her mother, riding up the incline, at night, during a storm. No one knows what has driven them there, but most agree the mother must be desperate to choose Denniston; worse, to choose that drunkard, Jimmy Cork, as a bedfellow. The indomitable Rose is left to fend for herself, finding allies and enemies in her struggle to secure a place in this tough and often aggressive community.
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A wonderful, complex historical novel
- Judith A
A wonderful story narrated with passion strong characters so indicative of west coasters who now are coming to terms with the Pike river mining disaster with the loss of 29.A challenging environment with inhabitants to match. Jenny Pattrich has captured this all so well.