Author(s): Amy Head
On tiny, isolated Rotoroa Island in the Hauraki Gulf is a treatment facility for alcoholic men. It's here, at the Salvation Army-run home, that three characters at very different points in their lives will find themselves gathered, each for reasons of their own. There is Katherine, known to history as Elsie K. Morton, famous journalist and author; Jim, a sleepless alcoholic sent to the island by his family; and Lorna, a teenage mother who joins the Salvation Army looking for a fresh start. As the stories of their lives are revealed, so too are their hopes and vulnerabilities. Set in the 1950s, as rigid social codes in New Zealand are beginning to evolve and come unstuck, Rotoroa is a compassionate, beautifully unfolding examination of loss and the possibility of renewal. Told with subtlety and intelligence, this novel affirms Amy Head as a remarkable new voice.