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“A stunning debut novel … Queen of Beauty had me mesmerised from the first words … a masterful work.” - New Zealand Herald

Spanning three generations of a large Pakeha/Maori family in a narrative that skilfully handles interwoven stories and multiple voices, Queen of Beauty explores the fragility of truth, the elusiveness of the past, and the transcendent power of love.

Virginia Seton lives in rainy, seedy New Orleans, working as a researcher for a historical novelist with a 'strip-mined' imagination. On a brief trip back to New Zealand for her sister's wedding, Virginia is drawn into the family secrets, lies and tensions of both the past and the present.


A stunning debut novel … Queen of Beauty had me mesmerised from the first words … a masterful work.

Penny Bieder, New Zealand Herald

Local debut of the year … a warm, unsentimental portrait of a family in all its confusion and conflicting stories.

New Zealand Listener

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 3, 2002


    312 pages

    RRP $30.00

    Online retailers

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

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

  • EBook


    December 3, 2004

    Penguin eBooks

    312 pages

    Online retailers

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

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Forbidden Cities
False River
New Zealand Girl: Hene and the Burning Harbour
Hibiscus Coast
Trendy But Casual


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To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
Echo Burning
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Girl on the Train
The Heart's Invisible Furies
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Golden House
The Bear and The Nightingale
Ready Player One
The Trip of a Lifetime
On Chesil Beach
Animal Farm
The Light Between Oceans
A Long Way from Home
The Travelling Cat Chronicles