La Rochelle's Road

La Rochelle's Road
Tanya Moir
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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, a novelist, was born in Southland in 1969 and now lives on the west coast of Auckland with her husband. She studied with the Hagley Writers' Institute and received the Margaret Mahy Award in 2008. Her first book, the critically acclaimed historical novel La Rochelle's Road, was noted for 'a deeply poetic sensibility that is, at times, quite breathtaking' (Your Weekend). The New Zealand Listener described it as 'that wonder: absorbing historical fiction that replenishes our view of the world then and now', remarking on language that is 'fresh, vivid and authentic'. Her second novel, Anticipation, was published in 2013 to rave reviews, the Dominion Post saying: 'When [novels] are written as well as this one is, with as much energy and style, the result is a rare treat ... Tanya Moir weaves a story as rich, intricate and colourful as a tapestry. It is briskly told and is deeply, satisfyingly good ... Moir is clearly a New Zealand writer to watch.' Moir was a 2013 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellow. Her website is:www.tanyamoir.com