A Rejacketed Reissue Alice Roland, together with her children, boxes, mattresses and piano, is punted up river to the 'appalling isolation' of their new home, 'a small house against a splendid wall of bush' in the kauri forest at Pukekaroro. She is joining her husband there, a reunion that is far from warm, but this remote place is to mark Alice's long and steady growth towards shared love, a new awareness of life and a sense of personal liberation. First published in New York in 1920, this is the first New Zealand novel to confront convincingly many of the twentieth century's major political, religious, moral and social issues - most significantly women's rights. Daring for its time in its exploration of sexual, emotional and intellectual freedom, the New Zealand Herald found the ending 'too early for good public morality'. It is the most celebrated of Jane Mander's six novels, and is believed by many to be the inspiration of Jane Campion's film The Piano.
Mary Jane Mander was born in 1877 at Ramarama, near Auckland. The eldest of five children, her childhood was spent around Auckland and Northland, including several years at Pukekaroro, near Kaiwaka, the setting of The Story of a New Zealand River. She was a primary school teacher for a number of years before working as a journalist in Northland.