Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Classic New Zealand high-country biography finally back in print

By Mona Anderson

A River Rules My Life by Mona Anderson was first published in 1963 and ran to nine editions and reprints, selling over 100,000 copies.

It was the first time someone had written about high-country station life from a woman’s perspective and it remains a classic in the now hugely popular station life genre.
Mona Anderson first arrived at the 23,000ha Mt Algidus property as a young bride in the early 1940s.  Access to the homestead was by horse or dray across the river when water levels allowed. 

Communication with the outside world was difficult.  When the station was sold in 1973, there was still no telephone line. Electricity was provided by a diesel generator, and cooking was done on a wood stove. 
When Mona Anderson arrived at the station she knew nothing about station life. ‘I could have distinguished between a cow and a sheep and I could sometimes tell a lamb chop from a pork chop, but that was the limit of my experience, and I was determined to keep my ignorance to myself.’ She fed shearers and musterers, established a garden and rescued stray animals which became her pets.

This new edition is published with the Mona Anderson estate (Mona died in 2004.)  It brings back to life the isolated world of the Wilberforce River, under the shadow of the Southern Alps. 

‘The river was my Rubicon. I had heard stories about the terrible Wilberforce: so many people had drowned in it. I tried not to think about the time when I could have to cross it. But the road had come to an end at a corrugated iron shed. Somewhere beyond it I knew we would find the station, Mount Algidus, a green, high-country oasis amid the snow and the tussock…’

By Mona Anderson
Published by HarperCollins  |  October 2017  |  RRP $45.00  HARDBACK
Also available as an ebook

1 comment:

Margaret Samuels said...

Wonderful to see this inspiring book back in print.