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  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143776284
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $36.00

Crazy Love

Based on the author's own experiences, this vivid novel explores how - as the Van Morrison song suggests - crazy love can take away the troubles. It can, though, add a whole lot more.

Based on the author's own experiences, this vivid novel explores how - as the Van Morrison song suggests - crazy love can take away the troubles. It can, though, add a whole lot more.'We save each other, don’t we, when we are in love.'

It has been 28 years since Vicki last sent a letter to Robert Muldoon. Last time she wrote, he was Prime Minister, while she was living with her loser-boyfriend and wanting to know why people like her had to exist in such dire straits. Back then, Muldoon sent her a dollar, but it was the irrepressible Billy who turned up and transformed her life. This time Muldoon is dead and it is Billy who has made her so desperate she doesn’t know where to turn.

Since running away with Billy, Vicki has barely looked back. Together they have become a family and prospered. They have survived so much, but can they survive Billy’s increasingly erratic behaviour, especially when he seems so set on pulling them apart?

  • Published: 3 August 2021
  • ISBN: 9780143776284
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $36.00

About the author

Rosetta Allan

ROSETTA ALLAN is a writer of prose and poetry. Her work is widely anthologised, and she has published two volumes of poetry, Little Rock (2007) and Over Lunch (2010). Her first novel, Purgatory, was published by Penguin in 2014 and was selected by Apple Books as one of the best reads of that year. Rosetta has received the Kathleen Grattan Poetry Award, the Metonymy Best Poem Award, a South Pacific Pictures Emerging Writers’ Lab internship, a Sir James Wallace Master of Creative Writing Scholarship, and a Michael King Writers Centre Emerging Writers Residency, and was the 2019 University of Waikato & Creative New Zealand Writer in Residence. In 2016, she was the first New Zealander to take up the St Petersburg Art Residency, located within the Museum of Nonconformist Art in Russia where she spent time researching her second novel The Unreliable People.

Also by Rosetta Allan

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Praise for Crazy Love

Allan's scene-setting is consummate, deceptively simple - her evocation of Napier of the 80s, the building and its dire straits inhabitants never falters. . . . Allan is apposite on this - how young women may find themselves forced into violent relationships just to survive. . . . If this vividly written and compelling novel has a message, it is surely that love can conquer all. It just depends on how consumed by it you want to be, and the price you're willing to pay.

Stephanie Johnson, Weekend Herald

Crazy Love is candid and uncompromising as it charts both a wild, self-destructive youth and a marriage made difficult by mental health issues. But it nowhere falls into self-pity. Rosetta Allan’s optimism, practicality and commitment are infectious. So’s her style. It’s compulsive reading.

Nicholas Reid, Reid's Reader

The first half of the story is set in the 1980s and the evocation of the era is spot-on . . . Allan is good at the undersides of relationships, such as the things we think about the other person that the other person will never know, acknowledging that parts of them will remain mysterious. . . . The ever after is neither happy nor unhappy, but readers will be satisfied that Vicki faces the future with open-eyed, if resigned, scepticism.

Paul Little, North & South

I can vouch that Allan gets the setting spot on . . . it's all exact and authentic. . . . Allan's writing crackles with energy. It's packed, pacy, smacks at your senses, edges towards a monotone just a few times. Vicki and Billy are as appealing a pair of bruised survivors as you'll meet . . . With Crazy Love, I found myself hooked to the point where I was reading big chunks without scribbling a single note. I do hope Rosetta Allan heeds my grumping and . . . and keeps writing exactly as she has here.

David Hill, The Dominion Post

Love stories come in many shapes. This one is brave and powerful, about the way love can save you but also break you, about the strengths and fragilities of a couple, and most of all about love. Partly what makes Crazy Love such an extraordinary novel is that it is an almost-memoir, with only a veneer of fiction over it, and it is a starkly confessional piece of writing. . . . Crazy Love is the study of a long relationship and its wild ride. It is raw and honest, vivid and real. Can Vicki and Billy weather financial ruin and his bipolar disorder? Can he survive at all? This is a literary book, but that doesn't mean it's not gripping. People are going to either love it or hate it, but definitely not feel indifferent. I was desperate to have someone else read it so I could have a chance to discuss it, so there is lots for book clubs to delve into.

Nicky Pellegrino, NZ Woman's Weekly

This is deeply disturbing yet utterly compelling storytelling – an unflinching account of severe mental illness and associated domestic torment. It is also – always – a record of Vicki’s unconditional love for Billy. . . . Regardless of whether you consider Crazy Love a novel, memoir, or something in between, it's triumphant; powerfully affecting, searingly honest, heartbreaking and hopeful.

Sue Orr, Newsroom

This is Rosetta Allan's third novel, an almost autobiography, and boy can she write. Crazy Love is based on the author's own marriage to a man who has bipolar disorder. . . . It's extraordinary and I'm going to find her previous novels to revel in her writing again.

Linda Thompson, Te Awamutu Courier

One of the 10 best novels of 2021.

Steve Braunias, Newsroom

Crazy Love by Rosetta Allan (Penguin 2021) was one of our fiction picks of the year, about a ‘devoted but difficult marriage’, reviewed by Stephanie Johnson. Another contributor notes: ‘For me the central question in this raw, visceral work is if love does indeed conquer all, is it worth the cost?’