Caroline Barron's Golden Days and Anne Tiernan's The Last Days of Joy are both gripping novels that explore how the past can haunt us in the present. Chaired by Paula Morris.
We meet Barron's protagonist Becky when she is mourning the end of her picture-perfect marriage. As she unravels, Becky also remembers one terrifying night in 1995 that changed her life forever. When Zoe, her best friend at the time, reappears in her life, she is forced to reconsider her interpretation of what happened.
In her bestselling debut novel, Tiernan's story is told by three adult siblings, including Sinead, a bestselling author struggling to write her second book. Like her brother Conor and her sister Frances, Sinead carries the scars of their mother's alcoholism, which we learn is her response to a tragedy in their early childhood, a time they all remember differently.
Both stories are book club-worthy page turners that raise questions about alcohol use, family, friendship and the human capacity for self-deception. When secrets surface, each character does what they can to survive but inevitably they must each reckon with the truth.
All pukapuka will be for sale through our Festival bookstore Paper Plus Nelson, both at their shop and at their stall at Pukapuka Talks sessions - your opportunity to meet authors and get your books signed! You can also purchase books from Paper Plus online.
Thanks to: University of Auckland Masters of Creative Writing Alumni Fund