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Historical Fiction Grabs Readers

Mākaro Press media release 21 November, 2016
Immediate release

Nelson author Alexandra Tidswell is stunned to have her first novel make the New Zealand Fiction Bestsellers List for two weeks in a row, and feature on the independent bookstores top 20 list.

Lewisville debuted at number one on the NZ fiction list, and last week was number three. It was number 4 on the Indie top 20.

“Page & Blackmore in Nelson has sold more than 110 copies of the novel in just over two weeks, which is extraordinary and an example of what a good bookseller can do, but it’s pleasing to hear that it’s doing so well in other centres too,” she said. “At UBS in Dunedin, for example. There are universal themes in this story that seem to be resonating with readers.”

Mary McCallum from publisher Mākaro Press said she’s excited by how well the book is selling.

“It shows there’s a hunger for page-turning historical fiction set in this country with strong characters,” she said. “Lewisville has hit the ground running and we believe it will do well.”

The action in Lewisville starts in the early 1800s in Warwickshire and London, then moves to Tasmania, Melbourne’s gold fields and colonial Wellington. The story of Martha Grimm’s ambition and its impact on her family is based on the author's own family history.

“Every family has its secrets, but this one took over a hundred years to unravel,” says Tidswell. “I’m gratified that readers are responding so well to its themes of love, ambition and loss.”

Lewisville, published by the Submarine imprint of Mākaro Press, retails at $35 and is available at bookstores throughout New Zealand and online at


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