The Seer’s Wolf, by Barbara PETRIE

The Seer’s WolfThe Seers Wolf x PETRIE
by Barbara Petrie

Wow. I’ve never read a young adult book quite like this, but I’m sure there will be readers out there itching for a book which combines human foibles with fantasy.
    The Seer’s Wolf follows two families in a rural Canterbury (NZ) community: the Fairnies, well established as farmers – practical, down-to-earth, sensitive – and the Randals, recent arrivals just emigrated from England, who bring a curious lifestyle to the community, keeping to themselves.  
    Clover Fairnie, the seer of the title, keeps a journal of visions, events and imaginings, and begins noticing more and more of the strange ways of the Randals, her mother, and the young cattle drover. She notices the closeness between Ralph Randal and his eighteen year old daughter Satina, whom he calls Arkie.
    Winding through the simple tale are threads of home-made herbal remedies, magic mushrooms, frustrated yearnings, the mauling of stock, floods and rescues, and shocking disasters. The quick ‘tidy-up’ of the ending seemed to leave something vaguely unresolved, but a thorough reading and retracing characters dismisses that.  
    At the beginning I found Clover’s journal read like something from Enid Blyton, but the author gets a grip on Clover’s voice, her visions come under the author’s control and are more believable.
    Ms Petrie’s ‘Note To The Reader’ is almost a spoiler, coming before the Table of Contents. So skip it – go straight to page 11, the first page of the story itself. 


Title: The Seer’s Wolf
Author: Barbara Petrie
Publisher: Bridgidada Press
ISBN: 978-0-473-318154 paperback
Available:
as either a pbk or e-book through the publisher’s website: www.bridgidada.nz;
or from Scorpio Books, Christchurch; PaperPlus, Rangiora; Take Note Kaiapoi; and bookshops New Zealand-wide by request. 

Black Rabbit Hall, author Eve CHASE

This author’s debut novel is a delight to  read.

Crossing three decades,CHASE_Black Rabbit Hall she reveals the families and stories behind a run-down Cornwall mansion.
Lorna, a modern woman seeking a wedding venue, visits Pencraw Hall at which she feels an increasing sense of the familiar.
When she visits again, the Cornwall weather cuts her off from London and home, and during her stay she learns more and more about the house and inevitably about herself.
Chase takes us back three decades, to the family to whom Pencraw Hall is known by the titular name – black silhouettes of rabbits at sun down. Although Pencraw Hall is already in a state of neglect, within and around the house the family are none the less happy.
The happiness of their holiday home is felled by a disastrous death, an unwelcome second-place holder, and another tragedy. Events then and there lead to a direct connection to Lorna, of which she had no real knowledge.
One of the delights in this tale is the author’s exciting use of new phrases to describe faces, clothing, weather, emotions. Beautifully written, it held me in thrall for the day –a satisfying day with its satisfying conclusion. I hope to soon read more from Eve Chase

Penguin random House NZ
Penguin random House NZ

Paperback edition
ISBN: 978-0-7181-8164-2

P