by Marion Day
This is a book it would be easy to fall in love with. It is beautiful, well presented and could take pride of place on anyone’s coffee table. That should be obvious to anyone who idly flips though the delightful picture-pages. The same is true of many coffee table books. But this book contains so much more.
The first thing readers will notice is the elegance of the writing. The sentences are well constructed and the original metaphors and similes used by the author result in a fresh style of writing that compels further reading.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say the book is set in the heart of the Marlborough Sounds; but I think it would be more correct to say the Marlborough Sounds are set in the heart of the author and she’s sharing her heart with her readers. She takes us on a journey into her life. Arriving as a bewildered, misplaced city-girl she becomes enveloped in the natural environment of the Sounds and eventually it becomes part of her psyche.
The book takes us on several journeys. From her base in Clova Bay she exposes some of the characters and events that contributed to the mood and story of the Sounds. From there she invites us to “Roam the Land” where we visit the places where the ancestors tugged at nature’s strands and discovered the world was attached to the other end. Eventually their endeavours merged with the spirit of the Sounds. Along with this merger the author provides a bounty of rural recipes that emanate from the hills and smell of country gardens.
The Sounds are a place where forests, mountains, ocean and sky amalgamate. Out of this marriage of nature the author next invites us to explore the sea and obtain a glimpse of the lives that cling to the rocky limits of the shore and hunt within its depths. She takes us on adventures through sea fog, sparkling days and into the depths of scallop beds searching for sea food and the delights of a multitude of recipes.
From the realm of sky she shares with us the birds that visited and became part of her life. From the mountains came tales of the hunting expeditions that provided rabbits, goats, wild pork and venison for the family table, to compliment the abundance of food from her garden.
Finally, we understand what motivated the poetry and prose that spilled out of her writing shack, the pictures that mesh so beautifully with the love she shares with her family, community and the natural world of the Sounds.
Writing as someone who also lives within the Sounds I feel I can whole-heartedly recommend Marion Day’s “Passion” and her “Living, Feasting and Writing deep in the Marlborough Sounds”.
Author: Marion Day
Publisher: AM Publishing New Zealand
Available: Print book: on-line stores such as Mighty Ape, Fishpond; library providers such as Wheelers, All Books etc.; bookstores; website www.marionday.nz