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Heart-warming and compulsive reading, this is an entertaining, lively and moving novel from one of New Zealand's favourite authors.

Heart-warming and compulsive reading, this is an entertaining, lively and moving novel from one of New Zealand's favourite authors.

‘Donny Mac was released at Eastertime, about a month before Pansy Holloway, also known as Nightshade, disappeared for good.’

After a short stint in prison on trumped-up charges, the loveable simpleton Donny Mac returns to the house left to him by his grandfather in the small settlement of Manawa, in the shadow of Mt Ruapehu. Now inhabited by a handful of colourful locals, the once prosperous milling town is only bustling in the ski season when the out-of-towners arrive.

Awaiting Donny’s return is the drunken and pregnant Nightshade, who claims he is the father. Donny's friends keep watch anxiously: the lace-making Bull Howie; Vera who can be seen every evening wheeling Bull’s dinner in a pram down to his house in her own version of meals on wheels; farmer George Kingi and his fey four-year-old daughter Lovey; and the strange elderly sisters who have moved in next door. Also watching is the Virgin Tracey, a sixteen-year-old hiding out in one of the abandoned houses, with her own tiny baby.

When an accident threatens to put Donny back into prison, he and the Virgin Tracey come up with a solution to cover it up. But can the secret remain hidden?


Jenny Pattrick’s latest novel is a masterful story of community and kinship. And, it’s a compelling read.

Gillian Torckler, http://www.nzbooklovers.co.nz/general-fiction/heartland-jenny-pattrick/

I absolutely loved this book. Jenny Pattrick has done it again . . . This is one of the best New Zealand books I have read. Jenny Pattrick’s characters are so alive they almost jump off the page. It is a story of love, support, and coming to terms with life for her many characters . . . Some of her chapters could almost be short stories themselves. Her writing is brilliant. I was in Manawa all the way through the book. This is one for my bookcase.

Margaret Reilly, Daily Post, APN, syndicated

Pattrick’s latest book, Heartland (Random House) is a quirky and heartwarming tale about a bunch of misfits living in small-town New Zealand . . . Whatever Pattrick is writing about she brings alive. She’s a consummate storyteller and her novels are packed with emotion. Heartland is a pleasure to read.

Nicky Pellegrino, Herald on Sunday

. . . wonderfully rounded characters, and a genuine reflection of small-town New Zealand, and a true story of community . . . The characterisations are so excellent, you can clearly picture them – even call to mind people in your own New Zealand upbringing . . . I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, would happily recommend it, and am now on the hunt for other Pattrick works.

Belinda Gallagher, Manawatu Standard

I loved this novel. . . . Charming, great characters and utterly original.

Kerre McIvor, South Taranaki Star

Heartland captures quintessential rural New Zealand and it masterfully blends a story of love, loyalty and a sense of community that all we Kiwis yearn for. Pattrick's story-telling enabled me to feel like I was in Manawa, in my gumboots, with Mount Ruapehu on my immediate horizon. Not such a bad place to be!

Kelly Harrison, Wanganui Midweek

The action takes place in a vividly realised Manawa . . . Among the many memorable characters, the three ancient McAneny sisters are standouts . . . The conclusion to be drawn is that people don't need to be connected by blood to find places in each other's hearts. This is a heartwarming read, in the best possible sense.

Paul Little, North & South

On first reading this novel I was struck by its similarity to Ronald Hugh Morrieson’s The Scarecrow, with its assortment of eccentric characters, odd events, a North Island setting, and frequent use of the present tense to create a sense of immediacy. That is praise in itself. . . .Heartland is one of those memorable, authentic books in a fine Kiwi literary tradition, like others written by Pattrick, and Morrieson too for that matter. Her writing style is vivid and flowing, the themes of antidevelopment and larrikinism are timeless, and the storyline bounds along. It is a really worthwhile read.

James Ferris, Timaru Herald

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    April 4, 2014

    RHNZ Black Swan

    336 pages

    RRP $37.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook


    April 4, 2014

    RHNZ Adult ebooks

    328 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Jenny Pattrick

Leap of Faith
In Touch With Grace
Heart of Coal
Catching the Current
The Denniston Rose


Fifty Shades Darker
The Handmaid's Tale
To Kill A Mockingbird
Echo Burning
A Gentleman in Moscow
Best Laid Plans
Fool Me Once
The Golden House
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Swing Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Amber and Alice
Dear Banjo
The Girls
Cold Blood
The Trip of a Lifetime