Wednesday, August 15, 2012
The Peastick Girl
Excerpt from book review on George FM (Auckland)
by Louisa from Time Out Bookstore, Mt Eden, NZ, 1 August 2012
Today we’re talking about The Peastick Girl by Susan Hancock, published out of Australia but written by an ex-pat Kiwi writer, am I right?
That’s right, it’s published by a really small company in Melbourne but it’s available in New Zealand, readily available.
So it really is quite important that it’s written by an Australian I think, by an Australian-New Zealand, because it’s all about the New Zealand landscape and its effect on people. It’s set in Wellington and Wellington features almost like a character in it. It's just incredibly Gothic and it's got all these descriptions of the weather and the wind sweeping across the harbour and all the people in it are quite troubled and Gothic as well. It’s really beautiful.
I really enjoy it when you get a sense of place in a book like that.
Yes, absolutely. And I’m actually from Wellington so I felt really nostalgic while I was reading it, and it’s pretty much spot on. It’s all about youngish people making their way as well, so there’s lots to identify with.
And so, key things, without giving too much away?
Okay, so it’s basically the story of this young woman called Teresa Matheson and like Hancock she’s been living in Melbourne. She comes back to Wellington to live and what’s basically happened is that her mother has died in mysterious circumstances out on the harbour in a boat. So it’s all very mysterious when you first get into the book, and she’s got two other sisters and they’re all just trying to find their way and find their paths in life and Teresa is in the throes of a mental breakdown, so there’s a lot of madness and hallucination in big empty Wellington villas. So it’s pretty good. I’m a really big fan, I just loved it, I think it’s beautiful.
It’s good to hear a ringing endorsement from you, especially someone that like you say has been a Wellington resident, so you know they weren’t messing about!