by Caroline Barron
At some time in our lives we wonder what is our destiny? Is it ingrained in our DNA or is it nature, nurture or free will? These are the questions that haunted our author Caroline Barron.
Caroline has a typical life of a child growing up in New Zealand but on her 20th birthday her life is shattered as her beloved father dies, and she fears for herself, that she too may die at an early age.
Move forward a few years to a life-threatening haemorrhage following the birth of her second child. But for the skill and fast action of her medical team she survives but is left with so many questions of her own mortality.
Combined with undiagnosed post-partum depression, it leads the author to find solutions for her fears and anger by delving into her whakapapa for answers.
As in so many families, her extensive research leads her down many branches of her family.
It was at this stage that I documented her family line to keep track of it and found it absolutely fascinating. It was like a thrilling detective story and I sat for hours reading avidly as the puzzle pieces untangled and fell into place.
Not only was the author finding her family she was also trying to make sense of her own emotions that were threatening to derail her.
It is a story of family love, strong friendships, courage and determination and even if the text ends with a wonderful conclusion the reader is left with the feeling the author will continue with her research to tie up loose ends.
The book has many photographs and the chapters are short enough to encourage the reader to read “just one more chapter” before they turn out the light.
To quote Dame Fiona Kidman, Ripiro Beach is “a very brave book,” "riveting, at times confronting, moving and passionate.” I totally concur with that.
Author: Caroline Barron
Publisher: Bateman Books