Pattrick, Jenny

  12 Reviews

Roll up, roll up! Take your seat and let the show begin. We are here to be entertained by Miss Lily Alouette, artiste extraordinaire, originally from France and latterly from the Antipodes. This is the story of her life: orphaned on the Otago goldfields, member of a travelling circus troupe and pursuer of a career on the stage. From its presentation as a music hall playbill to its rich cast of characters, this is an imaginative and entertaining novel.

Incorporating true events and real people, it presents both an unconventional life and a unique perspective of colonial times. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups

An easy read, combining an entertaining fictional melodrama with true life characters and a good insight into New Zealand history. Whangarei 004

A good, enjoyable read - providing interesting perspective and insights into NZ geography, history and the life of a performer. Auckland 248

Most of us enjoyed the book, and were intrigued by the life led by Lily, Mattie, Jack and their children. The presence of theatre in early NZ was also of interest. Would recommend it as an easy and light read. Ashburton 022

Everyone enjoyed the NZ context to the story, and the descriptions of well known places as they might have looked in the 1800s. It was easy to read and entertaining - some found it educational also. We would have preferred the archivist's notes to be in the form of an addendum - found them too distracting at the beginning of chapters. Christchurch 113

This was a different format to Jenny Pattrick's other books, and some struggled with notes from the archivist and posters etc, which seemed to break the flow of the story. Mixing fact with fiction is always a challenge, and "Mills & Boon' was mentioned several times... Auckland 058

Opinions were divided about this book. Several who have read other novels of hers compared 'Skylark' unfavourably. Those who liked the book however, appreciated the evocation of the period, the scenery, environment and life back then generally. The questions prompted a good discussion. Hamilton 003

A mixed response. Some members enjoyed the unusual structure, and the feeling of vaudeville with its light and darkness. Others felt it was too long and the characters not likeable enought to care about. The book evoked a lively discussion on all the topics raised in the notes, plus some family anecdotes. Auckland 071



KAIK 001
We all really enjoyed this book.
While it was a good read, the story was considered to be "contrived", trying too hard to include as many historic facts as possible.
UPHU 007
A very lightweight book. Not enjoyed as much as 'Landings', although we liked the local references. We found the archivist's interruptions irritating. 2 members did not complete it as they disliked it.
Everyone enjoyed this book. An intriguing story and quite cleverly executed.
TAUR 034
Mixed reviews of this book from our group. Some enjoyed that the story was woven around actual historical events and people. Others found the characters frustrating and unbelievable.
Enjoyed by all.
NEWP 014
This book generated a lot of discussion, even though some people didn't enjoy it, finding it a bit far fetched!
TAUR 015
A story with colourful characters, plenty of action, and incorporates some well known aspects of N.Z. history. An entertaining read.
A busy time of year for us, but those who read it, enjoyed it. People who had already read 'Denniston Rose' felt that it was a better book than 'Skylark'. We did like the glimpse of NZ history.
NELS 027
An interesting easy read interwoven with historical facts. All enjoyed it, some learnt a few new things about our country. Main comment What a selfish woman!"
CHCH 085
Some liked, some didn't. 2nd time of reading increased pleasure.
We all enjoyed this light read. Jenny Pattrick's ability to weave separate events and historical figures into a coherent story is very clever.