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An advocate of the simple life, Jane Wilks lives with her family in New Zealand. She shares a 'homely home' with her husband, a dog and at least two cats. Herbs are a favourite passion and she is the owner of aromatic oils company Herb Heaven. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, walking the dog and spending time at the beach.
Sara van Dyck
on July 30, 2013 :
This is a fascinating piece of oral history, a memoir of a impoverished rural New Zealand childhood during the Depression. It is unpolished, unvarnished, so immediate that I had the sense of being in the setting. Grace, the woman telling her story, who turned 92 in 2013, has a wonderful memory for the details of life – the children harvesting shellfish off the rocks, castor oil for medicine, home-made toys, washing with carbolic soap. Her family had close relationships with the local Maoris. Grace had almost no education, nor did her mother, and both of them worked their entire lives. Yet she has happy memories, it was a “wonderful life” she says, and recalls contentedly getting up in the morning and listening to the roaring of the sea.
This is worth reading as it is. If Wilks wants to make the material more available for cultural historians, perhaps she could define some of the terms used, such as he “Maori pa.”
(review of free book)