Author(s): Challinor, Deborah
In 1914, Tamar Murdoch’s brothelkeeping days are behind her. Her life is one of ease and contentment at Kenmore, a prosperous estate in the Hawkes Bay, as storm clouds over Europe begin casting long shadows. In this gripping second instalment of Deborah Challinor’s sweeping family saga, Tamar’s love for her children is sorely tested as one by one they are called, or driven, into the living hell of World War One. During the Boer War, Joseph, her illegitimate eldest son, fought as a European, but this time he is determined to enlist in the Maori Battalion, despite his growing attraction for his childhood friend, Erin. As loyalties within the Murdoch clan are divided, and the war takes Tamar and Andrew’s only daughter far from her sheltered upbringing, the people and experiences their children encounter will shape the destiny of the Murdoch clan for generations to come. There’s a bigger emphasis on war in White Feathers because I wanted to get across just what an enormous effort New Zealanders made during the First World War. Not just the boys and men who went away to fight, but the nurses and doctors who also went, the mums and sisters and daughters who stayed home, the fathers who wondered if they’d ever see their fine sons again, the children who knitted scarves for the ‘boys at the front’ without knowing what at the front meant, the returning soldiers who were more frightened of how wives and girlfriends would view their missing faces and limbs than they had been of facing the enemy…
‘The second volume of the Tamar trilogy is a powerful read, not to be missed…The author has that happy knack of telling a great story, and able to intertwine fact with fiction.’ Marlborough Express, June 2003 ‘The theme of White Feathers is the impact of the world war on New Zealand families, and the difficulty of settling after the return home. It is an interesting story, with well drawn, credible characters set in real surroundings. I have enjoyed the first two books and look forward to the third.’ Waikato Times, August 2003 ‘Challinor has developed very believable characters and I found it easy to imagine that they could have lived the story she writes. The accurate details of relevant military, and national, history add substance to this story. I look forward to the third in this family saga. Wairarapa Times-Age, September 2003
Deborah Challinor is a freelance writer and historian living in New South Wales, author of many bestsellers including Isle of Tears and the trilogy Kitty, Amber and Band of Gold, and several non-fiction titles including Who'll Stop the Rain and Grey Ghosts.