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The Open World

3.23  ·  Rating Details ·  26 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
'I miss my smiling son more than any other man before or since.'

London 1866.

Elizabeth Smith is struggling to survive when she hears that her former New Zealand employers, Judge and Lady Martin, are returning to England. Accompanied by her dear friend, the lunatic Reverend Cotton, she makes a pilgrimage to settle old scores. Elizabeth is also accompanied by liberal doses of
Paperback, 306 pages
Published April 5th 2012 by Vintage
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Jun 15, 2012 Chelsea rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic, historical, adult, nz
I am always excited to pick up a historical novel written by a fellow New Zealander and as soon as I saw this one on the shelf I knew that I had to read it. Not only does it have a beautiful cover but what seemed like a amazing premise.

In a nutshell this book is based on real historical figures and events. In fact the main character Elizabeth Smith is the authors Great-Great something grandmother. The novel opens in 1860's London. She lived in early colonial New Zealand and still longs for the
Mar 16, 2013 Sunflower rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book more than I did. It is a work of fiction, loosely based on the life of the author's great-great-great-grandmother, a woman whose life was spent between England and New Zealand in the mid-1800's. Colonial life and the voyages undertaken are vividly portrayed- sometimes to a modern day Kiwi the use of Maori place names and words, and known historical figures resonated and sometimes it felt wrong. Perhaps because we use those same words now, but in a very different contex ...more
Jan 21, 2013 Rosemary rated it really liked it
Loved it. This book entrances with its evocation of life as it was in NZ and in London 150 years ago. It was this rather than the plot itself which kept me reading. It is the sort of book which one could read again quite easily.
Vicki Johnson
Jul 17, 2014 Vicki Johnson rated it liked it
Loved finding out that the characters were real people and related to the author!
Ange Blossom
May 19, 2012 Ange Blossom rated it it was ok
Couldn't get into it, read about half.
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Sandy Becton rated it it was amazing
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Rachel Teen rated it really liked it
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Apr 02, 2017 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I had a few years in close company with this author many years ago. She was an inspiration then and continues to be. Stephanie's writing style is exquisite and wise and this book should be read by everyone. NZ and English historical fiction fans will love it. Well done my fine friend. I'm so proud of you.
Bonie rated it really liked it
Apr 29, 2013
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Stephanie Johnson is the author of several collections of poetry and of short stories, some plays and adaptations, and many fine novels. The New Zealand Listener commented that ‘Stephanie Johnson is a writer of talent and distinction. Over the course of an award-winning career — during which she has written plays, poetry, short stories and novels — she has become a significant presence in the New ...more
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