Our Word Cafe committee member, Jane, has been reading (and loving) Karyn Hay’s new novel, The March of the Foxgloves, in the lead-up to her appearance at the festival. It got her so fired up, she wrote this review…
Remember that dance anthem of the 1980s? Annie Lennox threatened ‘we’re coming out of the kitchen…and we’re doing it for ourselves’ thirty years ago but little do we know about the women ‘doing it for themselves’ in NZ 110 years ago.
Yes we do know NZ was the first to allow woman the vote in 1893, but now we have some fiction to enrich that bare bald historical fact; Karyn Hay’s new book The March of the Foxgloves.
Hay’s character “…” is an inspiration for women today; an intelligent creative resourceful independent woman who understands and plays the game of sexual politics to advantage; she’s a professional photographer who strikes out for NZ from London without a chaperone. This 19th century modern thinker helps us understand and value our own history. This novel indirectly helps explain why the men and women of our glorious young nation sometimes just ‘do stuff’ without the pageantry and ceremony of the old-fashioned English.
And yes this is ‘Radio With Pictures’ cool hipster Karyn Hay. Who knew that she could write such fresh historical fiction with crisp detail and cleverly enrich our understanding of ourselves?
Already read the book? We’d love to hear your thoughts.