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About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798048
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $37.00

Skylark




A lively, unconventional love story set amid real figures from 19th-century theatre, from the author of the best-selling The Denniston Rose.

A lively, unconventional love story set amid real figures from nineteenth-century theatre, from the author of the best-selling The Denniston Rose.

The little French girl, Lily Alouette, was singing and dancing almost as soon as she could walk, and performing became as much a part of her as breathing. When she is left an orphan in an unfamiliar country after her parents have emigrated to the goldfields, it is performing in a circus that offers survival. Later she takes to the stage in both Australia and New Zealand, which is where she attracts the attention of two men. One is the faithful Jack Lacey; the other is the renowned pirate Bully Hayes.
While Jack has to compete with both Bully and the theatre to win Lily's attention, Lily finds she must share Jack, too.

This lively, unconventional love story is set amid real figures from nineteenth-century theatre, giving a vivid and entertaining picture of the life of actors and circus performers, of gold miners, of horse breeders, of colonial settlers. Filtered through a unique and intriguing narrative, it is page-turning, heart-warming and full of surprises.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798048
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $37.00

About the Author

Jenny Pattrick

Jenny Pattrick is an acclaimed historical novelist, whose The Denniston Rose, and its sequel Heart of Coal, are among New Zealand’s biggest-selling novels. They have also been republished in an illustrated edition. The former teacher and jeweller’s works include the Whanganui novel Landings, and Inheritance, set in Samoa, which, along with all her adult titles, have been number one bestsellers in New Zealand. Other titles include Catching the Current (2005), In Touch with Grace (2006), and Skylark (2012). In 2009 she received the New Zealand Post Mansfield Fellowship. She has been active in the arts community, and has also written stories, songs and shows for children.

Identified by Nicky Pellegrino as ‘one of this country’s most talented storytellers’, it has been said that she creates ‘an authentic stage for a cast of characters who interact in ways that always ring true’ (The Christchurch Press). Reviewing Landings, Graham Beattie concluded: ‘It is not surprising that she is one of NZ’s most popular contemporary novelists and this fine piece of historical fiction will further enhance that well-deserved reputation.’

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Praise for Skylark

“I couldn't put it down. It is a great read from beginning to end, wonderful twists and turns, great characterisation, thrilling plot, another winner from NZ's most popular author. It will be at the top of the best-seller list within days.”

Graeme Beattie, Beattie's Book Blog

“Pattrick writes with the assuredness of a veteran. She creates an authentic stage for a cast of characters who interact in ways that always ring true.”

Mike Crean, The Christchurch Press

“The descriptions of the Whanganui - its extraordinary beauty and vicious tongue - are woven through with the author's knowledge of the physical, cultural and historical life of the river; and incidents on the water are vividly and compellingly drawn, right down to the changing currents. The river defines the action of the novel, and flows through the characters' veins.”

Mary McCallum, NZ Listener on Landings

“A wonderful blend of history and fictitious characters that takes you back to a by-gone era. Lily leaves you frustrated, then draws sympathy from you – she’s a plucky, vibrant character and leads you through an amazing, theatrical slice of history.”

Sue Reid, Paper Plus Masterton


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