The Denniston Rose
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The Denniston Rose

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  300 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A number one bestseller, this favourite New Zealand novel captures a real 19th century community.

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 - the 1880s - the only way to reach the makeshift collection of huts, tents and saloons is t...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Random House New Zealand
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Community Reviews

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Bree T
Set in the town of Denniston in the 1880′s, a mining town on the western coast of the South Island. The town itself was based around the coalmine there, accessible only up an almost vertical incline – the Denniston Incline. This made life for those that worked the mine, and for their families, incredibly isolated as not only could the journey down to the town of Westport not be made on a whim, it was also incredibly difficult for ladies to make. The method of transportation up to the mine/town w...more
A beautiful and precocious child, Rose, arrived in Dennistone one stormy night. Her mother, Evangeline Strauss, is a woman of questionable character. They arrived to seek Rose's father, or so the mother said but as a matter of fact, they were running away from something more sinister.

Life in Dennistone was not easy but Rose was welcome in nearly every households as no one, in their right mind, could refuse her. Unfortunately, once again luck struck out and her 'father' died. How exactly he died...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
I quite enjoyed this story but it only gets 4* because it did not end quite the way I expected, I think it should have had a epilogue that told what happened to Rose's mother and Con the Break - even though it just said that they were neve heard of again.

Rose was taken to the Denniston Mining Camp in NZ by her mother Eva, a former prostitute, after Eva had killed a woman in a fight. Eva was taking Rose to her supposed father Jimmy Cork who she found was a drunk when they arrived in the middle of...more
I was born on Denniston as was my Mother. My Father was a miner who left Scotland to escape a life in the mines for a better life in New Zealand, but arrived just as the depression was beginning, and mining was the only job he could get! I know from both my parents how hard life still was on Denniston much later than the era Denniston Rose was set in.. I loved this book and could picture it all in my mind. Great story, well researched background detail. We moved to Waimangaroa when I was four, a...more
Rose, a five year child and her mother ride up the perilously steep incline late one night to Denniston. Denniston is a coal mining town high on a plateau on the west coast of New Zealand. This is the 1880s. Life is tough as only a makeshift town exists.

Rose's mother takes up with Jimmy Cork, a drunkard. Rose is left to fend for herself. The English miners are knowledgeable about mining and very close-knit and want to run the other miners off. The other miners are ex-goldminers trying to turn th...more
I really enjoyed this story set in New Zealand's South Island coal fields of the 1880s. Denniston was an excellent setting - isolated, hostile and an artificial community where everyone was new to the place. The social divide between management, skilled miners and labourers was clearly defined. Pattrick has created a rich cast of characters, many with secrets to hide. They are vividly portrayed and there is a warmth towards all but the most reprehensible. Pattrick is also looking at how a commun...more
The setting for this book is Denniston,a coal mining town on the West Coast of NZ now a deserted shanty town. Situated up a steep incline above the small settlement of Waimangaroa, where my husband's family had the local (and only dairy)and where he grew up. School holiday jobs as a teenage where spent working "up on Denniston". I have been up to Denniston once and its now a deserted ghost town, unfortunately the weather was terrible and we couldn't see anything past our nose! But we will make i...more
Deidre (superhero in training)
This book was written by our own very talented New Zealand author, Jenny Pattrick. What an incredible story of the heartaches, hardships, and soul stirring lives of the men, women, and children, who endured the cold Denniston plateau, in their search for a better life, while working in it's unforgiving coal mines! Rose, a young girl arrives one cold, dark, stormy night, with her mother, and instantly captures the hearts of all, with her beautiful voice, and happy smile. Then follows stories of l...more
Telling the story of this isolated mining community on the West Coast of New Zealand using poor little Rose as the central character worked well. In saying that, I did wish that I knew more about the other main players in the book, as several of them just became either “good” or “bad” in my mind. More details, thoughts and back-stories would, for me, have given the story more depth. Still, I recommend this book, particularly if you enjoy historical fiction about tough-times in the 1800’s.
The setting is Denniston, New Zealand in the 1880's. It is a coal-mining settlement consisting of huts, saloons, tents and all types of people working in appalling conditions trying to survive. The only access to this community is a steep Incline which is a cable system which brings coal down to the railway line. I googled Denniston and after reading the history of this town I was enthralled! Great book. The Incline is amazing. Please google the history before reading. You will be amazed!
What can one say about Jenny Pattrick . . . her writings are excellent and her well-informed and researched historical knowledge of places her stories are set only add to the reader's absolute interest.
Dennistone Rose is an exceptional novel written of the coal mining families in a very remote and high altitude area of the South Island.
This book gave me an insight into what life must of been like in Denniston, and how people just adapted to living on such a hell hole, and they made it their home! I would of loved to see the writer describe the characters and the setting in a little more detail, I couldnt quite get into this book
Kristie Saumure
An interesting New Zealand novel that takes readers to the remote and desolate mining community of Denniston during the 1880's. Well described characters and an interesting setting make this a book that is well worth picking up. An easy read that would work well for taking on holidays.
This is a wonderfully atmospheric novel set in the coal mining area on the West Coast of New Zealand in the late 1800s. We've just returned from a trip to New Zealand, so I loved the regional connection and the feeling of the time. And the characters are very compelling.
Donna Blaber
I first read this book while travelling on the West Coast of New Zealand and it made the region come alive for me. Unique history is told through a riveting tale of hardship. Recommended reading for anyone with an interest in New Zealand and/or the West Coast's history.
Susan Wilson
It was a great yarn with some good characters and I enjoyed Denniston Rose although I don't think Rose herself was that believable and there was a bit too much coincidence going in for me. Liked it enough that I'll definitely be reading the sequel.
Jenny Housley
A good read with wonderful characters. The story gave a good insight into in the lives of early New Zealand. The story was set in a mining town in the South Island and shows the trials and tribulations of those early immigrants.
Fantastic historical fiction about the lil mining town of Denniston, NZ. Makes you want to go and visit and ride the 8th wonder of the Industrial world for yourself and see if it's as scary as it's portrayed.
sentimental & maybe a little contrived, but has verisimilitude down, ie a convincing appearance of historical accuracy & its very entertaining & engaging. surprised it hasn't been filmed yet.
Fantastic writing of a time and a place that was extremely difficult to live in. A great blend of history and fictional characters that have made a truly believable read.
Beautiful book! Based on a small mining settlement in the south island, it follows the story of a young and her two best friend. Such a sad story, with a good ending.
Nikita Maree
Quite hard to get into if you aren't interested in the history of Denniston. And the book only covers a couple of years of roses life. But it's an alright read.
Annette McIntyre
Dec 17, 2011 Annette McIntyre added it
Recommended to Annette by: Mark Edgecombe
The story of a young girl and the life she must survive in the harsh environment of a West Coast coal mining town in the 1860's in New Zeland
Got given this when I was in hospital. Took me a while to get into it, but it turned into quite a good story!
This was a great book with an interesting story and covering some history of mining in NZ.
Very interesting from a historical point of view.
Quite captivating story
fascinating history, makes you think about how hard it was to live back then
Hennie B
Awesome book what an amazing author .. I felt like i was there
A Great read of the early days of mining in Denniston, N.Z.
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Jenny Pattrick is an acclaimed historical novelist, whose The Denniston Rose, and its sequel Heart of Coal, are among New Zealand's bestselling novels. In 2009 she received the New Zealand Post Mansfield Fellowship. She has been active in the arts community, and has also written stories, songs and shows for children.

Jenny Pattrick has been awarded the OBE for services to the arts, the 1990 medal,...more
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