The Seasonwife

The Seasonwife

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It’s 1832 on an isolated coast on the South Island of New Zealand. A lush and tranquil bay is facing a season of upheaval. White men are whaling, sealing, whoring and warring. Creatures are culled, woods are felled. But something more sinister is afoot. There is much demand amongst the English gentry for the rich resources and curiosities to be found in this farthest flung corner of the colonies. But, in order to procure these ‘treasures’, blood will need to be shed.

Bridie Murphy is an immigrant Irish orphan with a sharp tongue and an unbreakable spirit who has been abducted from her home in Sydney. She is forced into a relationship with Robbie Fitch, the roguish captain of a whaling ship.

Low-born, perceptive and fiercely protective of her whānau, Manaia O Piripiri has a special role accorded her by the rangatira to protect the village. It also sets her on a dangerous collision course with Robbie and his men.

Slipping unwilling into the fray is Quentin Cuthbert, a disillusioned missionary with a past. While Bridie and Manaia forge a precarious and critical alliance, the missionary must decide once and for all where he stands.

The Seasonwife considers the barbaric intrusion of a new world into the lives of Māori as women navigate dangerous currents towards survival. A lyrical, deeply moving and highly visual novel that will penetrate deep into your bones.

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