A Parallel Universe: A Quirky Memoir of Growing Up in 1960s New Zealand in Norwich

Ad ID: 34046877
5 weeks ago


"Impressive, amusing, intriguing" - Norman Bilbrough NZSA

"Absolutely brilliant! A skilful blend of wit and understatement" - Dr Marianne Tremaine, New Zealand Heritage Magazine.

New from prize-winning author Cheryl Nicol is this humorous and poignant memoir of a 1960s childhood. Evocative of the era and with a repertoire of acutely observed characters, this is a story of resilience and resourcefulness.

Earthquakes in New Zealand have always been a reminder of its geological idiosyncrasies, and whenever the earth moved so did their little house on Christchurch's sandy suburban fringe.

Cheryl's father - declared a near-genius by her mother - was a mechanical engineer, collector and inventor of useful things.

Her mother, on the other hand, was a complicated woman with Jekyll and Hyde tendencies, a creative bent and certain knowledge that civilisation was irrevocably doomed.

Despite New Zealand's growing prosperity, uncomfortable memories of the Depression and war-time rationing still lingered in the back of her parents' minds.

The younger generation didn't appreciate how lucky they were, her mother said. Trying to lip-read Mr Ed through a shopfront window wasn't Cheryl's idea of lucky. Owning a television wasn't her mother's idea of lucky either, but she was prepared to reconsider when New Zealand got colour.

Her father couldn't wait for something that might never happen; instead, they became the proud owners of a black and white nineteen-inch legless Idiot Box.

No more sing-songs around the piano, reading a book after dinner or lengthy debates on the merits of cod liver oil as a laxative. The world and one corner of their Front Room had just become a brighter place.

ISBN 978-0-473-39744-9

Price: £7.70

Joined: Apr 2016
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