Author(s): Tanya Moir
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.
Tanya Moir was born in Southland in 1969. She studied with the Hagley Writers' Institute, and received the Margaret Mahy Award in 2008. She worked in television in New Zealand, Italy and the U.K. before settling on Banks Peninsula, where she lives with her husband and dog.