Archive for December 6th, 2017

All Day at the Movies


All Day at the Movies by Fiona Kidman

When war widow Irene Sandle goes to work in New Zealand’s tobacco fields in 1952, she hopes to start a new, independent life for herself and her daughter – but the tragic repercussions of her decision will resonate long after Irene has gone.

Each of Irene’s children carries the events of their childhood throughout their lives, played out against a backdrop of great change – new opportunities emerge for women, but social problems continue to hold many back. Headstrong Belinda becomes a successful filmmaker, but struggles to deal with her own family drama as her younger siblings are haunted by the past.

A sweeping saga covering half a century, this is a powerful exploration of family ties and heartbreaks, and of learning to live with the past.

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Author’s Bio

Fiona Kidman is a leading contemporary novelist, short story writer and poet. Much of her fiction is focused on how outsiders navigate their way in narrowly conformist society. She has published a large and exciting range of fiction and poetry, and has worked as a librarian, producer and critic. Kidman has won numerous awards, and she has been the recipient of fellowships, grants and other significant honours, as well as being a consistent advocate for New Zealand writers and literature. She is the President of Honour for the New Zealand Book Council, and has been awarded an OBE and a Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to literature.


My Review

4 stars

Irene Sandle is a war widow that only has the baby her husband gave her before his death. She tries to return to work after the birth of her daughter. Not to be put out, Irene decides to move out of her parent’s house and work as a tobacco picker. She struggles to survive with her daughter and ends up marrying Jock. Sadly years later she dies in childbirth and leave Jock with four children he is not ready to raise. He in turn marries Charm who is not capable to raise the children either. What follows is neglect, abuse, teen pregnancy, and so much more.

This story revolves around Irene and her family over several years. Going against the norm for a woman, Irene is determined to create a life for her and her daughter. They both face trials but Irene does the best she can. So does Jock after Irene’s death. Sadly things don’t get better and all the children have to live with everything that they went through as kids and the choices they make as adults.

This is not an easy journey but I really enjoy how Fiona Kidman tells this story. These are real characters that do the best they can to survive and have real human flaws, unfortunately. It is touching and sad what the kids have gone through but it is also a reflection of real life. I think that many will enjoy this story.

I received All Day at the Movies from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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