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About the book
  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781869793388
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $39.99

La Rochelle's Road




This is a story of settling in a new land, of hardship, resilience and of love.

This is a story of settling in a new land, of hardship, resilience and of love.

In 1866, Daniel Peterson and his family give up their comfortable life in London for an unseen farm on Banks Peninsula. Daniel plans to make a fortune growing grass-seed; until he does so, there can be no going back. But the realities of a remote hill country block are very different to the cosy imaginings of a clerk. The Petersons find themselves at the mercy of the land, the weather and their few neighbours - a motley, suspicious assortment of old whalers, escaped convicts, wary French settlers and true-blue Tory squatters. Even their own house has a secret to hide - that of its first inhabitant, the scandalous Etienne La Rochelle and his Maori lover. When Daniel's daughter Hester discovers La Rochelle's journal, it leads her on a journey of discovery - a path into a world of beauty, darkness and illicit love, which she may follow if she dares.

  • Pub date: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9781869793388
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 272
  • RRP: $39.99

About the Author

Tanya Moir

Tanya Moir, a novelist, was born in Southland in 1969 and now lives on the west coast of Auckland with her husband. She studied with the Hagley Writers' Institute and received the Margaret Mahy Award in 2008. Her first book, the critically acclaimed historical novel La Rochelle's Road, was noted for ‘a deeply poetic sensibility that is, at times, quite breathtaking' (Your Weekend). The New Zealand Listener described it as ‘that wonder: absorbing historical fiction that replenishes our view of the world then and now', remarking on language that is ‘fresh, vivid and authentic'. Her second novel, Anticipation, was published in 2013 to rave reviews, the Dominion Post saying: 'When [novels] are written as well as this one is, with as much energy and style, the result is a rare treat . . . Tanya Moir weaves a story as rich, intricate and colourful as a tapestry. It is briskly told and is deeply, satisfyingly good . . . Moir is clearly a New Zealand writer to watch.' Moir was a 2013 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellow. Her website is:www.tanyamoir.com

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Praise for La Rochelle's Road

“Tanya Moir’s novel La Rochelle’s Road left me feeling delighted at a remarkable journey beautifully told ... You will love the imagery that Moir has evoked. You can feel every step the family takes as they trek from where the boat that met them at Lyttelton has dropped them to their land and cottage along the ridge and overlooking the vast sea. The strands of history, family trials and a young girl becoming a woman combine to make this a beautiful read. The details of life in colonial times ring true. Hester’s relationship with her father, mother and brother grow and develop as both she and the story mature. I think Tanya Moir has excelled here and the story lingers with me still.”

Booksellers NZ

“Above all, the language is fresh, vivid and authentic, with descriptions of places, people and events that demand rereading ... Moir’s novel is that wonder: absorbing historical fiction that replenishes our view of the world then and now.”

NZ Listener

“Following in the fine tradition of historical novels, La Rochelle’s Road moves along at a cracking pace ... Romance, mystery and despair abound as the cast of characters’ lives – and their corsets – unravel around them.”

NZ Woman's Weekly

“Tanya Moir’s first novel is an example of historical fiction that brings to life a moment in time in a way that is graceful and thoughtful ... La Rochelle’s Road is, then, a story of survival, but it is also a story of love, ideals and of the understated politics of daily life. What I particularly like about the book is the way it builds in layers through the seamless intrusion of other texts. Chunks of writing in italics can be offputting for the reader – but not in this case. The daughter’s diary and her letters back to England work perfectly to illuminate each particular scene and its consequences. Equally fascinating is the daughter’s discovery of the buried notebook and letters of the previous occupant, La Rochelle. Hester is captivated by the story of illicit love revealed in the pages and the way the unfolding portrait of the man is not at all what she had anticipated. Like all good historical novels, the history is complicated and challenging rather than straightforward and neatly explained. La Rochelle’s Road is a good read.”

NZ Herald


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