In 1974 Paddy and Maura O'Connor emigrated from Ireland to New Zealand with their four children. In each of the following six years, Maura wrote two or three lengthy epistles, typing them on stencils, printing off thirty or forty copies on a Gestetner and posting them to friends and family back home.
Between the lines of the resulting family journal is a snapshot of New Zealand in the late seventies from the perspective of the newly-arrived. The 1975 change of Government, education and social policies, Maori culture, the Catholic Church, Rob Muldoon, Michael Fowler, Brian Edwards, NZ slang and the price of butter are all grist for the mill. The “average kiwi” doesn’t come away unscathed either.
This collection of letters, unabridged and uncensored, is not for the faint hearted or easily offended.