Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Passing Through by Coral Atkinson


April 2014

Passing Through

Historical novelist Coral Atkinson has long wanted to write a novel using Lyttelton as a setting. Her previously published fiction (The Love Apple and The Paua Tower, Random House NZ Ltd.) explored New Zealand’s unique history and were imbued with what the Dominion Post described as 'a strong sense of period and place'.

Passing Through is no exception. In it Atkinson traces the lives of four people as they come to terms with the wreckage left behind by the First World War.

Two former soldiers find themselves in this quiet corner of Canterbury: one is an officer from England, trying to make his fortune offering bogus séances and preying on wealthy widows. The other is a returned New Zealand private, tormented by the horrors of the trenches, on the run from his own memories. The two men are on a collision course, but Passing Through’s tightly-paced plot also sees them intersect with the lives of a couple of young women: Nan, a housemaid haunted by visions of the dead, and Louisa Craddock, still grieving for her husband, killed in France before even seeing his daughter. While her mother searches desperately for signs from the afterlife, the child Poppy has struck up a secret friendship with the wild-haired young man she finds hiding in their garden.

Passing Through takes place in a world veiled by shifting secrets and lies, where it is difficult to tell the truth from a parlour trick. Yet, set against the backdrop of the Port Hills, a tender human drama unfolds.

Atkinson has lived on Banks Peninsula for twenty years and her love of the area is one of the motivations for writing this book. It seems especially appropriate now, since she evokes the 1920s port so accurately; when so many of Lyttelton's historic buildings have since been lost to the earthquake. 'What happens after a great tragedy frequently gets glossed over, but it interests me. I can see it now unfolding after the Christchurch earthquakes,' she says.

Release date: late April 2014

RRP: $34.95

ISBN: 978-0-473-26269-3

Extent: 345pages

Publisher: Dancing Tuatara in association with Whitireia Publishing

Distributor: Greene Phoenix Marketing Sales Rep: Paul Greenberg

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


13/10: 40 Years Since The Māori Land March Arrived At Parliament

Traffic into Wellington came to a standstill as thousands of Māori and Pākehā streamed along the motorway into the capital on 13 October 1975, concluding the Māori land march to parliament. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Before The Quakes

Remembering Christchurch: Voices from decades past: The Christchurch I lived in for my first 23 years was where four-year-olds walked alone to kindergarten, crossing roads empty of all but a couple of cars per hour. My primary school, Ilam, was newly built on a grassy paddock surrounded by rural land... More>>

6-11 October: New Zealand Improvisation Festival Hits Wellington

Wellingtonians will have a wide selection of improv to feast on with a jam packed programme containing 22 shows, three companies from Australia, two companies from Auckland, one from Nelson, one from Christchurch and seven from Wellington. More>>


Bird Of The Year: New Zealanders Asked To Vote For Their Favourite Native Bird

Te Radar, David Farrier, Heather du-Plessis Allan and Duncan Garner are just some of the New Zealanders championing their favourite native bird in Forest & Bird’s annual Bird of the Year competition, which kicks off today.. More>>


Werewolf Film: It Follows - Panic In Detroit

Philip Matthews: When you heard last month that Wes Craven had died and you wanted to pay homage, you could have sat down with any one of five of his films that helped reinvent American horror at least three times over three decades... Or you could just have watched one of the greatest recent horror films that would probably not exist without Craven. More>>


Werewolf Music: Searching For The White Wail - On Art Pepper, etc

If the word ‘hipster’ means anything – which it arguably doesn’t – it seems to be more of an impulse than a condition. One always headed for the margins, and away from the white-bred, white-bread mainstream... More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news