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Purgatory by Rosetta Allan

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  • Around 21-24 September using standard courier delivery

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"A good read"
5 stars"
Purchased on Mighty Ape

Really enjoyed reading this book, set in early New Zealand. The chapters alternate between what turn out to be the ghosts of a family killed by who knows who (don't want to give a spoiler), and a soldier who deserts and survives much hardship, through the years. It all ties up satisfactorily at the end. All this, set in the Auckland of the 1850s. The diverse characters are all well-drawn and there is a good level of suspense maintained. The supernatural element is believable , with just enough mystery to keep you guessing.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


'"You don't want to be digging there," Ma says like he can hear her. No one can hear her, just us boys. We're the dead Finnegans - Ma, Thomas, Ben and me.' Ten-year-old John Finnegan can't leave his garden. Ever since they were murdered he, his brothers and his ma have been stuck there, caught between the worlds of the living and the dead. Unseen and unnoticed, he watches the events after his life unfold - including the actions of his murderer. James Stack is born dirt-poor on an Irish tenant farm and the great famine shadows his childhood. But his clever sister's lace making may save the family - until Aileen is sent to the other side of the world on a convict ship. To save her, James joins the redcoats and follows her across dangerous waters to a hopeful new land. But can he ever leave the death and hunger of his homeland behind? Based on the 1865 Otahuhu murders, Purgatory is a startling, gripping novel from an immensely talented new author.

Author Biography

Rosetta Allan is an Auckland-based writer who grew up in Hawke's Bay. Her first poetry collection, Little Rock, was released in 2007, and her second volume, Over Lunch, in 2010. Her poetry has appeared in publications and anthologies in New Zealand, Australia and the USA, and in online literary journals. Purgatory is her first novel, based on the Otahuhu murders of 1865.
Release date NZ
May 28th, 2014
Country of Publication
New Zealand
Penguin Books (NZ)
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