New Zealand author and setting. Christchurch, New Zealand: Christchurch City Libraries. As in the other Maurice Gee's works that I have read, there is a dark brooding sense that something went terribly wrong in one of the characters lives, and the suspense builds throughout the novel. Much of the novel focusses on how life in New Zealand has changed over the years and there were many times when I mentally thought I know what that was like. Neither ever Gee is an author like Helen Dunmore or Rose Tremain that I can always rely on for a reading experience that offers insight, wisdom and skilful wordcraft. Landfall 11 1957 : 194-221.
Three brothers and sisters, all now in their eighties, two of them living in the old family home, are struggling to cope with events that have happened way back in the past. Rowan is an interesting narrator and it was great to read a book where all the main characters were in their seventies. As her brothers have moved back to the family home, her visits there bring memories pouring back — of youthful escapades, adolescent fumblings, and those moments in life that seemed to shape their destinies forever. He is currently married and has three children, one of whom is also a writer, Emily Gee. Rowan must abandon safety if she is to find out. He is an Honorary Associate of the. Rowan too, otherwise safe in her 'upper crusty' suburb, is drawn more and more strongly 'out west'.
It was a fast read with colourful characters. Some past crimes are eventually revealed and the mystery is solved. Even in the most recent, where Wellington and Auckland play a major part, it is their subdivisions — Wadestown, Karori or present-day Henderson —which dominate. In 2018 Gee launched his memoir Memory Pieces. Their house in Access Road and their childhoods there provide memories that hint at an answer.
In Landfall Country: Work from Landfall, 1947-1961. Access Road is at once a novel of chilling tension and expansive humanity; both a beautifully crafted work of literature and an effortlessly seductive family story. Rowan, too, safe in 'upper crusty' Takapuna, is drawn more and more strongly 'out west'. This review was originally written for WildTomato magazine, and first published online at , the hub for all things New Zealand crime, mystery and thriller writing. Clyde Buckley - violent as a boy; enigmatic, subterranean as an old man - returns to his childhood territory.
The way that the elderly protagonists end up struggling with each other physically is ludicrous at the same time it is frightening. She is married to a former athlete; they live in suburban New Zealand, not far from her two brothers, who are now inhabiting the home they all grew up in on Access Road. With his usual masterful ease Gee weaves in and out of generations, locations to a limited extent headspaces and perspective, paradoxically all the while remaining faithful to his narrator's voice and knowledge. This is not one of Maurice Gee's better books, but it's still ok. Once again Gee scratches below the surface, finding the menace behind the mundane, the evil behind the everyday. New Zealand fiction doesn't get any better than this. Clyde Buckley - violent as a boy; enigmatic, subterranean as an old man - returns to his childhood territory.
And how is Lionel involved? Mate 2 1958 : 10-19. We see seven decades of Beach family history through Rowie's eyes. He was 78 when he wrote it in 2009 and suggested then that it may be his last, although he has written one more since - The Limping Man. Well worth reading - good writing, good dialogue, central characters are well drawn - for a male writer Gee gets the psyche of his female narrator so well. Eventually the brothers return to the old family home in Access Road, and the secrets of the past play themselves out.
Gee is excellent at creating evil characters who are able to exercise power over others in particularly sinister ways. Rowan Pinker nee Beach is the narrator, describing what it was like being part of the Beach family, growing up on Access Road, near Te Atatu Road, on the outskirts of Auckland. Present day events lead to the reappearance of Clyde Buckley in Lionel's life and the past collides with the present in a dramatic way. Lionel and Roly, too, seem to have lived under a shadow — but does the key to that lie in their sinister childhood friend Clyde Buckley? As she watches her brother losing the battle with his memories, Rowan wonders how long she can keep her own past at bay. This is her story — a story of her past and of her frustrating but in the end contented marriage in coming to this contentment, did she achieve a victory or a defeat? The story is told by Rowan, and is told in flashbacks, all culminating in a tragic present. The past is dangerously alive.
And how is Lionel involved? Synopsis As she watches her brother losing the battle with his memories, Rowan wonders how long she can keep her own past at bay. Rowie's two brothers Lionel and Roly were different in many ways, one clever, the other always finding school a struggle, both leaving home in their late teens. He always has a great story to tell, and this was no exception. I believe that this was the first Maurice Gee book that I have read. Rowan must abandon safety if she is to find out. In this novel, Gee successfully uses a woman narrator Rowan who is 78.
Auckland, New Zealand: Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand. And how is Lionel involved? Finally the brothers come home, bachelors, back to the house they lived in as boys, and Rowie visits them each week, looking after them in their old age, just as her mother would have done had she still been alive. What crimes does he hide? And to tell the truth if I hadn't needed to read it for Uni I probably wouldn't have given it much look. Auckland : Viking, 1995; Auckland: Puffin, 2000. He always has a great story to tell, and this was no exception. Arena 45 1956 : 23-24. The old family home in Access Road, where Lionel, Roly and Rowan grew up, is crumbling away-but after more than fifty years Lionel and Roly are back.
An older woman reflects back on her past and her family relationships and tries to understand why one of her brothers seems to have lost the will to live. Archived from on 6 July 2012. The story is mildly engaging and told sparingly but well. I found it easy to put down. The title of the book refers to the name of the street where the narrator of the story, Rowan, and her two brothers Lionel and Roly grew up. With an effective note of wonder, she creates both a sense of place and the innocence of childhood. She's a crusty, wry old bird and tells the story of her life with warmth and wisdom.