Reviewing “Irish in the Blood”, by Marie Gray

A Family History – rediscoveredpic20171207_05

This is the story of a family before and after emigrating to New Zealand in 1887, and is the answer to the question Marie and indeed her uncles and aunts often asked her grandfather (their uncle), to which the answer was an infuriating “Tell you one day.”

After his passing, Marie’s husband encouraged her to travel back to Ireland to find answers. She did so, and more. After receiving only hints of knowledge during her visit, she returned to New Zealand and began a full journey of research, aided by her grandmother’s journal, kept whilst travelling on the powered steamer Cuzco under Captain Murdoch.

pic20171207_07Husband and wife Patrick Magill and Mary-Jane (née Campbell) sailed with their children James (Jim), Mary, Robert (Bob) and Annie, heading to South Africa (Capetown), then east to Australia (Melbourne). There they took the Governor Arthur up the Yarrow River, to visit with Uncle Jack, who had travelled out some years before to try his luck at the gold fields. After losing his friend, he settled to the land, now a flourishing homestead.

The Magills shipped to New Zealand aboard the Arawata, arriving in the Hawke Bay Ahuriri port close to Napier.

Published 1997, by Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers Limited, Auckland, NZ
ISBN: 1-86958-481-3

“When Dad Comes Home” a new release

The war was over and Dad is coming home at last! But the days and weeks go by, andWhen Dad Came Home when he does return, Dad is not the happy man that young Rita once knew and Thomas thinks he remembers.
Struggling to understand his sadness and fears, the kids accompany him as he readjusts to home life, all the while singing his favourite song. One day, while they help him fix the deck, Dad starts to join in the song …

Hatley-Owen beautifully captures children’s views of the return from the war, and the realities of shell shock for the men who returned after the First World War ended on 11 November 1918. Soldiers who returned from the war often faced difficulty re-entering society after the horrors they had faced on the battlefield. Most never spoke about their experiences and managed to carry on as before. However, many men faced on-going psychological trauma.

Not only affecting the soldiers, but their families too, the story shows that not all soldiers return unharmed from war, and not all wounds are physical. But with love, care and support, they can heal.


Illustrated by Rosie Colligan, England
Published: November 2018 by Oratia Media, 2018
ISBNs: 0947506500 and 9780947506506
Available from Amazon  and from all New Zealand book stores

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