Jane Mander's The story of a New Zealand river (1920) was reviewed well overseas but received less positive attention in New Zealand. This review, published nine years after the book was first released, is an exception, though the reviewer claims not to like the plot. The novel's main character is Alice Roland, a purportedly widowed mother who enters into a marriage of convenience with Tom, a rough bushman. She falls in love with the local doctor, but their relationship remains unconsummated until Tom dies and they can marry. Alice's daughter Asia, who was in fact born outside marriage, has an affair with a married man and moves with him to Australia. The novel charts Alice's struggle to realise her true feelings and put aside the puritanical morality that she assumed after having a child outside marriage. It is a rich portrayal of settler life and emotional struggle.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Auckland Star, 29 June 1929, p. 7
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