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This novel is a vivid portrayal of NZ in the late 1980s.

Rose Kendall is alone. She is isolated from her children, her friends, and her political ideals, and there is someone trying to scare her - she doesn't know why and she doesn't know who.

True Stars is a vivid portrayal of New Zealand life in the late 1980s. It shows the tensions and divisions that are echoed both on a national level and in family relationships, which were crystallised by the 1981 Springbok Tour, and which gnaw at differences in race, gender, class - and politics. It is a savage and often humorous novel set during the last months of the Lange Government.


All in all, True Stars is heady stuff, and moreover, a symbol of that rarest form of narrative written in New Zealand before or since, the political novel. Such rarity, particularly concerning such a radical era and its political leaders, continues to surprise this writer. To look back at the Fourth Labour Government, the purity of its dogma, the innate contradictions of its convictions, its near-mythical high command, and find that few of our writers have considered the social, governmental and financial melting pot that Lange and his offsiders created, wittingly or otherwise, a subject worthy of their work perplexes. We need more books like True Stars written in New Zealand. Brave books by writers brave enough to deconstruct the social and political mores and dilemmas of their times and leaders. In this we need to value True Stars much more than we have hitherto done.

Siobhan Harvey, reidsreader.blogspot.co.nz

True Stars is a passionate novel about political corruption, New Zealand-style.

Colleen Reilly, Landfall 175

With True Stars, Fiona Kidman has become the foremost chronicler of our times.

Roger Hall, The Dominion

It's intelligent, exciting, very well written and a good read.

Aorewa McLeod, Sunday Star

True Stars is a page-turner, the sort of book you cannot put down.

Mary Varnham, Dominion Sunday Times

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Formats & editions

  • EBook


    July 1, 2012

    Random House New Zealand

    226 pages

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Also by Fiona Kidman

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This Change in the Light
The House Within
Songs from the Violet Cafe
The Best of Fiona Kidman's Short Stories
The Infinite Air
The Book of Secrets
Paddy's Puzzle
A Needle in the Heart
Ricochet Baby
A Breed of Women
The Trouble With Fire
Where Your Left Hand Rests
Beside The Dark Pool
At the End of Darwin Road
The Captive Wife


Make Me
The Girl on the Train
The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-time
The Snowman
The Handmaid's Tale
After the Fire
To Kill A Mockingbird
A Gentleman in Moscow
The Golden House
Dragonfly In Amber
The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Swing Time
The Mistress
Tiger Men
The Golden Age
Fifty Shades Darker
A Long Way from Home
Don't Let Go
Uncommon Type