Province of Danger

ISBN: 9780995105300

Author: Ray Grover    Publisher: Quentin Wilson Publishing

This is a novel of insights, bold assessments and revelations told by four contrasting characters from the generation whose adult lives were affected forever by World Wars I and II, the Depression, the Spanish Civil War and the domestic upheaval that accompanied the waterfront lockout and protests against the war in Vietnam. It is an account to treasure, not simply because of its narrative power, its superb interweaving of the real and the imagined, and its huge and contrasting canvases, but because of its brilliant and meticulous archival research and its compassionate yet rigorous re-evaluation of some of New Zealand’s most bitter and wounding military, social and political battles, and of the officers, soldiers, nurses, trade unionists, conscientious objectors and political leaders involved. No New Zealand novel about the harrowing experience of our growth towards nationhood has a broader sweep and more detailed grasp of events. It is a masterpiece of times that must never be forgotten - Kevin Ireland The war to end wars ended in 1918. It is, however, still early in the twentieth century and Nelle, the World War I nurse who patched up the remnants of men who ‘survived’, fears for her fighter-pilot son; disastrously, Frank, the intellectual, has fallen in love with a German refugee; World War I sniper hero, Harry, the Christian, now fights for peace; and left-wing activist, Jim, goes to war in Spain to fight Fascism. In Province of Danger, our four narrators tell of their lives and loves during the years of a bitterly divided New Zealand; in the pitiless Spanish Civil War; in the six long years of World War II, and then its aftermath. We learn from them that when soldiers of the New Zealand division are sent to participate in what became the disasters of Greece and Crete, Crete was lost to the vastly outnumbered Germans through a combination of failure by senior officers to exercise initiative or to obey orders – their believing they were still fighting World War I. Thrown then into the North African battles the New Zealanders, at great cost, become a formidable fighting force. Thereafter, against the considered judgement of their general, they are shipped to the bloodshed and torment of the futile Italian campaign. Province of Danger brings to life a rich tableau of characters who, when forced to confront the most demanding circumstances, respond in various ways: many with courage, integrity and resilience. Not all of those at a higher level, however, reacted so positively when military and political blunders – too often glossed over by historians – were committed. Province of Danger, like its predecessor, March to the Sound of the Guns, is a story that vividly recreates the turbulence of the years in which New Zealand stumbled towards nationhood.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 448

Dimensions: 153 x 234 mm

Publication Date: 16-08-2018

Availability Date: 24-08-2018

Tags: July / August 2018   Christmas 2018   Christmas 2019   Fiction & Literature   New Zealand

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