All Day at the Movies

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When Irene Sandle, a young war widow in search of work to support herself and her young daughter, Jessie, first comes to the tobacco fields of New Zealand, all she hopes for is a warm bed and enough money to care for her child. What she finds is the possibility of a great love, the desolation of profound loss, and the iron chains of a future she cannot escape.

Told in interconnected short stories over decades, All Day at the Movies traces the lives of Irene’s four children, Jessie, the eldest and least present, Belinda, Janice, and Grant. These four children all inherit pieces of their mother’s defiant and, ultimately, heartbroken spirit. As the novel moves forward in time, and the children grow up and grow apart, readers must confront the nature of sacrifice as well as the power of love to corrupt and abuse.

Belinda’s voice is the strongest of the four children; she is the touchstone to which the other children return, though not always by choice. It is her life that has be resurrected as she married Seth, the man who impregnated her out of wedlock, a seemingly impossible accomplishment for a poor girl with little family or education to her name. Seth and Belinda live a normal, middle-class life, something Irene couldn’t achieve herself, but that does not mean they are free from heartbreak or struggle.

What you get when reading All Day at the Movies is an intimate portrait of one family over time, trying to reach back to the past for some fragment of understanding. It is a universal and honest book and one I’m sure you’ll want to share and discuss.


Reviewed By:

Author Fiona Kidman
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Aardvark Bureau
Publish Date 2018-Jan-09
ISBN 9781910709344
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2018
Category Historical Fiction
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