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About the book
  • Published: 18 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798420
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $30.00

The Denniston Rose




A number one bestseller, this favourite New Zealand novel captures a real 19th century community.

A number one bestseller, this favourite New Zealand novel captures a real 19th century community.

The bleak coal-mining settlement of Denniston, isolated high on a plateau above New Zealand's West Coast, is a place that makes or breaks those who live there. At the time of this novel - the 1880s - the only way to reach the makeshift collection of huts, tents and saloons is to climb aboard an empty coal-wagon to be hauled 2000 feet up the terrifyingly steep Incline - the cable-haulage system that brings the coal down to the railway line. All sorts arrive here to work the mines and bring out the coal: ex-goldminers down on their luck; others running from the law, or from a woman, or worse. They work alongside recruited English miners, solid and skilled, who scorn these disorganised misfits and want them off the Hill.

Into this chaotic community come five-year-old Rose and her mother, riding up the Incline, at night, during a storm. No one knows what has driven them there, but most agree the mother must be desperate to choose Denniston; worse, to choose that drunkard Jimmy Cork as bedfellow. The mother has her reasons and her plans, which she tells no one. The indomitable Rose is left to fend for herself, struggling to secure a place in this tough and often aggressive community. The Denniston Rose is about isolation and survival. It is the story of a spirited child, who, in appalling conditions, remains a survivor.

  • Pub date: 18 May 2012
  • ISBN: 9781869798420
  • Imprint: RHNZ Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $30.00

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.’

Also by Jenny Pattrick

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Praise for The Denniston Rose

“It becomes a page-turner, with a good deal of solid substance to it as well.”

Nina Valentine, Ballarat Courier

“She knows how a good story works: a bit of staginess; the right blend of light and shade, some tragedy and humour. As Con the Brake says, 'every good story must have the taste in the mouth', and Pattrick provides it. . . we also know we're in good hands and the story will deliver on what it promise. it provides romance, tragedy and magic in equal measure.”

Liam Davison, Weekend Australian


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