One summer evening just over ninety years ago, an unusual assortment of people gather for dinner at the Kellys' farm. Mr Kelly is something of a collector, and his guests include an intriguing trio of well-heeled drifters - Mr Harraway, his unsuitable wife, and their startlingly handsome friend Mr Fernon. Also present is local spinster Lily Macgregor and her former playmate, the now-widowed Bob Graham. Romance is in the air but Lily, accustomed to thinking and acting alone, assumes people only notice her because they find her useful or entertaining. The consequences of this erroneous assumption, and her subsequent relationships with Mr Fernon and Bob Graham, develop into a riveting story of deceit, sex, subterfuge and crime that will keep the close-knit rural community talking for years.
The Stove Rake is a beautifully written novel set in rural Edwardian New Zealand. The author's ability to craft thought-provoking images as well as an excellent eye for period detail make this haunting novel one to remember.
(Preceeding text courtesy www.harpercollins.co.nz)