Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Good Life on Te Muna Road - enchanting, candid memoir

by Deborah Coddington
Random House NZ  $40.00

I was so enchanted with this this delightful, heartfelt and candid memoir that I read it in a day in two long sittings. A friend who has also just read the book suggested to me that it was warm and wise and I think that sums it up perfectly.

For me there were also special memories from the days when I was a young bookseller in Napier and the author was an even younger book editor and partner of the hugely talented but later disgraced publisher Alister Taylor. I well remember meeting her on Alister Taylor's display stand at the Booksellers Conference in Rotorua at that time. 
Others who feature in that part of her book include Sam Hunt, Marti Friedlander, Peter Bush, Tim Shadbolt, Peter McLeavey, Mary Varnham, Sonja Davies, Richard Griffin, Sue Kedgley, and Dun Mihaka. A journey down memory lane for me.

But most of the story is set in the recent past and present when she is happily married to her CCQC - Colin Carruthers Q.C. and back living in Martinborough. Her book publicist described the book as  " a hymn to community. To be precise, it’s a hymn to a small rural village called Martinborough, in Wairarapa, and to the transformative, healing and enriching effect of life in the country" . She is right on the money there.

About the author:

Deborah Coddington is one of New Zealand’s best known journalists. During her long career she has worked for, amongst others, Eve magazine, North & South magazine, BBC World Service’s New Zealand operation, the Herald on Sunday, Radio Live and the Sunday Star-Times
From 2002 until 2005 she was a Member of Parliament, entering Parliament on the ACT list. 
She has four adult children, one grandchild and now lives in Martinborough, where she and her husband Colin Carruthers QC produce Te Muna Valley wines.

"This is a good life on Te Muna Road; sweet music indeed".

A great read filled with wry fun and a great sense of community spirit. I am happy to have read it. Thank you Deborah.

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