Eighteen years have passed since the child Rose arrived on Denniston, riding up the terrifying Incline on a stormy night. She has now grown into a young woman, intelligent and talented, with an outrageous zest for life.
The trauma of her early years seems forgotten, though some recognise its shadow in her often unconventional behaviour. Rose is expected to marry her childhood friend the golden Michael Hanratty, but when dark and stubborn Brennan Scobie arrives back on the Hill after a seven-year absence, a challenge is inevitable. The opposition of Brennan’s ambitious mother adds to the tension.
This sequel to the best-selling The Denniston Rose continues to follow the fortunes of the remote West Coast coal-mining settlement. At the turn of the century Denniston is still isolated, but all that is about to change. New challenges will confront both Rose and this close-knit society. Staying or leaving will become an option.
You can read Heart of coal as an e-book from our Overdrive collection.
Heart of coal is also available as a paper book.
The bleak coal-mining settlement of Denniston, isolated high on a plateau above New Zealand’s West Coast, is a place that makes or breaks those who live there. At the time of this novel – the1880s – the only way to reach the makeshift collection of huts, tents and saloons is to climb aboard an empty coal-wagon to be hauled 2000 feet up the terrifyingly steep Incline – the cable-haulage system that brings the coal down to the railway line. All sorts arrive here to work the mines and bring down the coal: ex-goldminers down on their luck; others running from the law or from a woman or worse. They work alongside recruited English miners, solid and skilled, who scorn these disorganised misfits and want them off the Hill.
Into this chaotic community come five-year-old Rose and her mother, riding up the Incline, at night, during a storm. No one knows what has driven them there, but most agree the mother must be desperate to choose Denniston; worse, to choose that drunkard, Jimmy Cork, as bedfellow. The mother has her reasons and her plans, which she tells no one. The indomitable Rose is left to fend for herself, struggling to secure a place in this tough and often aggressive community. The Denniston Rose is about isolation and survival. It is the story of a spirited child, who, in appalling conditions, remains a survivor.
You can read The Denniston Rose as an e-book from our Overdrive collection.
The Denniston Rose is also available as a paper book