This is a very fine first novel by a young new writer who is already attracting attention for the effortless and skilful way in which she blends past and present. There are traces of Fiona Kidman and Maurice Gee in Michelle Powles' outstanding first novel.
The lives of three women interweave in the novel. Eliza McGregor is New Zealand's only female permanent lighthouse keeper, at Pencarrow lighthouse near Wellington in the 1850s. She takes life, and its storms, head on, hardening herself against its wintry gales. In the present day, Antoinette, a widowed grandmother, struggles with her sense of self-worth as she deals with budding loneliness. And emotional Grace, much younger, caught in a cool, loveless marriage with Jason, tries to commit suicide and is assigned to a psychiatric clinic. There she meets Antoinette, and an unusual friendship develops.
As the novel develops Eliza, the lighthouse keeper from an earlier century, becomes a presence in Grace and Antoinette's lives, a ghostly vision who seems to have a life of her own in the present day...
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 04 / 2009
- 128 x 198mm