Past Perfect by Karen Zelas

A New Zealand novel set partly in the present and partly in 1840, at the time of the French settlement of Akaroa.  RRP $20

Prompted by a brush with mortality, her children apprPP_Front.cov.LARGEl[1]oaching adulthood and the relationship with her husband being tested, Sue Spencer embarks on a search for meaning in her life, for a better sense of who she might be. Her quest takes her to Akaroa, to France and back, tracking her genealogy, but her discoveries are unexpected and place further pressure on strained family relationships.

Parallel to Sue’s journey and interwoven with it, is that of her ancestor, Frenchwoman Brigitte (Bibi) Dujardin. Bibi arrived on the Comte de Paris from Rochefort, France, in 1840 to settle in Akaroa. Bibi’s story is told in letters written to her mother in France. As the novel proceeds, Sue and Bibi come closer and closer together.

Past Perfect is a story of love and loss, prejudice and resolution, and the search for selfhood. The backdrop of the French settlement of Akaroa, with its established Maori community, enriches this novel with the diversity and complexity that make up our past.

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s