Title: This Mortal Boy
Authors: Kidman, Fiona
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 295
Year: 2018
Publisher: Vintage Books
Language: English
Description: The hope of a better life, that's what Irishman Albert Black was seeking when he stepped on New Zealand shores, not the prospect of the gallows after a casual altercation at an Auckland milk bar. It's 1955 and unfortunately for young 'Paddy', New Zealand has the moral bit between its teeth, and the death penalty still on its books.

Compelling and convincing, this is both a compassionate recounting of a young man's short life and the thoughtful examination of a dark episode in New Zealand history.

Comments from BDS Reviewers:

"Utterly compelling and emotionally convincing."

"The descriptions are so vivid, I was there, not just reading it."

"I was absorbed by this book (enjoyed does not seem the appropriate term)."

"It's a time in New Zealand's history that is not that well-known and so this book became a good history lesson."

"I think most people would find this a great read - thank you, Fiona Kidman!"

"The book invites the reader to examine our very recent past and to look carefully at whether we have progressed from these attitudes."

"I found no negatives in this story, just a deep sadness that this happened within my own lifetime."
Categories: Fiction - New Zealand, 2021 Titles


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By: NEWP 014 2020-07-17 14:48:06
Well-written, thought provoking book. Lots of discussion.

By: WELL 094 2020-07-03 14:36:31
Very well received. Lots to think and talk about.

By: AUCK 375 2020-07-03 14:31:19
Not all in the group read the book, as in the current climate we wanted something more uplifting. Those that did were moved by the account. We doubted that Henry's evidence would have made any difference in view of the climate at the time.

By: QUEEN 014 2020-05-11 14:21:48
We found it an interesting read but a bit too depressing - especially during Covid! Good insight into the political and social climate for early immigration into New Zealand.

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