Copyright 2013 by Ross Richdale
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Neil Johnston a young schoolteacher arrives to take charge of a two teacher rural school at Ashleyvale in the South Island of New Zealand with his partner, liberated Lisa. She is just one of the five women who has a profound affect on his life through the next quarter a century.
Margaret, a promiscuous farmer's wife engulfs Neil like a spider and almost tears his relationship with Lisa apart. Afterwards there is a tragedy, Kelly, the assistant teacher in the junior room at Ashleyvale and decisions to be made. Neil matures quickly and when faced with an ultimatum by the woman who loves him, makes a decision that involves shifting back home to the North Island with one woman and away from the other.
Two girls also affect his life, Wendy a pupil at Ashleyvale and his daughter Alexia who, as a baby, unknowingly provides the comfort and love. There are always changes as society moves through the decades.