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What the Bird Sees in Flight: Collected Stories of a New Zealand Farming Family

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Set among the rolling green hills of New Zealand’s verdant Waikato District, this episodic collection of short stories opens a window into the life of a twentieth century dairy farming family. Nuanced and thought-provoking, the accessible tales highlight the emotions, disagreements and aspirations dwelling just below the surface in each member of the Hester clan.

From a fishing boat surrounded by a school of whales, to an unexpected kiss in a second-hand shop, to an overnight manhunt in the mountains, this series of poignant snapshots spans the Great Depression into mid-century, depicting the relationships between Duncan and Isla and their five children, Rangi, Anna, Joshua, Ron and Wally, as they navigate managing a farm, as well as loss, transition, identity, faith, estrangement and legacy-building.

Loosely based on the author’s great-grandparents, What the Bird Sees in Flight offers a creative perspective on the complexity of family relationships and the desire for belonging we all carry.

164 pages, Paperback

Published April 27, 2021

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About the author

Joseph R. Goodall

1 book1 follower
Joseph R. Goodall was born in Auckland, New Zealand and spent his childhood in Florida. Inspired by books combining science, history and creative story-telling, he wrote and illustrated his own stories from an early age. A big backyard, close-knit extended family, and involvement in community service efforts all shaped his love of building relationships and exploring cities, parks and nature trails. Humanitarian aid efforts have taken him on trips to Bolivia, India and Haiti, deepening his curiosity about the significance of place-making, the way people live and how to develop cross-cultural partnerships.

Since earning a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida, he has worked in land development, preparing site designs for housing communities, office developments, parks and a wastewater treatment plant.

His writing focuses on family, faith, community relationships, identity, and coming-of-age.

Joseph and his wife live in Atlanta, GA.

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Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews
May 16, 2021
Really sweet story about the complex dynamics of family. I really enjoyed it.
1 review
August 14, 2021
Goodall has made up a good, true story and told it well. It is honest and delves into universal themes of family tensions, expectations and divisions. I found his subtle tension and family dynamics compelling and relatable. You should read this book.
1 review
June 5, 2021
The character and story lines draw you in to the snapshots of life depicted, while thoughtfully representing common themes of humanity we all face.
Displaying 1 - 3 of 3 reviews

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