New Zealand Herald, Monday July 21, 2008
A high-country love story has won the Booksellers' Choice Award.
The award for Road to Castle Hill, A High Country Love Story, by Christine Fernyhough with Louise Callan, was announced during the Booksellers Conference in Wellington last night.
The award was decided by booksellers who vote for the book they most enjoyed selling this year.
Castle Hill has been in the top 200 bestsellers for 40 weeks, and was the best-selling book on the shortlist of 10.
With a best-selling book, broken leg, book tours, a record-breaking drought and recent nuptials, the past year was already shaping up to be a memorable one for high country sheep station owner, Christine Fernyhough.
Now, to have been awarded, by a country mile, the ‘NZ Booksellers' Choice Award 2008’ presented at the annual Industry Dinner last night in Wellington by her most exacting critics — booksellers — seals the deal.
An instant bestseller, Fernyhough’s book, The Road to Castle Hill: A High Country love story, shares the highs and lows of learning to run a high country farm at some of the highest elevations in the South Island. A tale of pluck and determination, it immediately struck a chord with both urban and rural Kiwis throughout the country.
The book continues to be one of the most wait-listed library reads.
Chrissie’s widely-reported unfortunate run-in with a heifer in late October left her with a badly broken leg. But, as the many thousands who’ve read the book would expect, it took more than a few broken bones to get in the way of Chrissie living life.
The one-time Parnell philanthropist was back on the station as soon as the medics gave her the all-clear, fondly referring to her ride-on four wheeler as her mobility scooter!
The next challenge for her at Castle Hill was keeping stock in good shape through last summer’s record-breaking, severe drought.
Then, in April, Chrissie and her business partner and the book’s photographer, John Bougen, tied the knot at the Castle Hill dog trials in front of family and Valley folk friends, many of whom colourfully feature in her book: Midge, the feisty little header dog who saved Chrissie from the heifer, Snow, Bones and the Witches of Springfield.
The Road to Castle Hill went straight to the best-seller list, where it remained for months. Chrissie has since been in high demand as a public speaker, attracting big crowds wherever she goes. The book has been reprinted three times since it was first launched last October and almost 23,000 copies have been sold. It has also received rave reviews, the most rewarding being from the farming communities themselves.
The Road to Castle Hill: A High Country love story (Christine Fernyhough with Louise Callan). Published by Random House New Zealand, $39.99