The Year of Falling

Janis Freegard

A Mākaro Press publication

When the porcelain dolls start turning up on Selina’s doorstep, she knows it’s a bad sign. Shortly afterwards she embarks on an ill-judged affair with a celebrity TV chef. Both events, and the lies and untold truths at their heart, precipitate a spectacular fall from grace for high-flying graphic artist, Selina.

Enter Smith: the sister who saved Selina once before. But this time Smith’s life is complicated by a small boy called Ragnar, and she’s almost too late.

Janis Freegard’s novel is a beguiling urban tale that moves from the hills of Brooklyn, Wellington, to the streets of Iceland via Tākaka. Packed with characters who hold the reader to the page, The year of falling has the strut and gleam of a fairytale while not being afraid of the stuff of flesh and blood that makes people act the way they do. A novel to fall into … but beware, you might find it hard to climb out again.

Richly peopled and companioned by an absorbing plot … a consummate realisation of its author’s prizewinning literary heritage. Siobhan Harvey

The crisp, crackly prose kicks things along. There are nice little leavenings of irony. Freegard controls a substantial cast adroitly, and makes you care about each one … David Hill

Will be enjoyed by followers of:

  • Contemporary NZ fiction
  • Fiction set in Wellington
  • Janis’ poetry

Available in hard copy from Mākaro Press


Then he’s at my side, the man from the bar. ‘I know a place that does excellent cocktails,’ he says. ‘Birthday treat.’
‘Aren’t the bars all closed?’ I’m doing my best to enunciate clearly.
He taps the side of his nose. ‘I know people.’ I think about Tim for a second or two. Then I follow the beautiful stranger into the night.
Outside he puts his arm around me and I lean into his shoulder. I ask his name.
‘Guess.’ I try to focus on his face. ‘Thor,’ I decide. He really is breathtakingly good-looking. Even more so when
he smiles. ‘God of Thunder. Why not?’ ‘And for tonight I’m Freya,’ I tell him. ‘I get to choose half the
slain warriors from the battlefields.’ Why shouldn’t I be the Norse Goddess of Love?
Perhaps he’s a birthday gift. Someone the Fates have sent me, to celebrate with. One more year before I’m thirty. I’m still young. I still have – possibilities.
Thor takes Freya to a small, emptied bar at the end of a corridor where the bartender greets him enthusiastically and proceeds to make them a teapot cocktail that he pours into delicate china cups. It tastes of summer. Thor leans across the table to move a strand of Freya’s hair out of her eyes. Something starts to build inside her, some sort of need. When Thor’s friend finally tells them it’s time to go, god and goddess spill into the alleyway outside the bar. The first rays of dawn are pushing into the night. Freya invites Thor home, but he says something about cooking in the morning. ‘Besides,’ he tells her, ‘I can’t wait that long.’


Peace Warriors

Raymond Huber

A war hero who refused to fight, students who stood up to Hitler, a ship that sailed into a nuclear test zone, a whole town which practiced non-violence. Peace Warriors tells the dramatic stories of people who chose non-violent resistance in times of conflict—stories of young men and women from New Zealand and around the world.

For readers ten years and older, with colour images, discussion pages and useful links to other resources.


The Book of Hat

Harriet Rowland

Harriet Rowland — known as Hat — was 17 when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Throughout her journey with cancer, Hat kept a blog. This is her unexpected story.

Her writing is funny and truthful and wise, exactly like the Harriet we got to meet when she visited the set last year. Peter Jackson, filmmaker

The real ’The Fault in Our Stars‘. Auckland libraries


Fields of Gold

Pam Morrison & Annie McGregor

In the wake of news that her only sister, Annie McGregor, had terminal cancer, Pam Morrison began to write a journal. Very soon it became a shared container; a form of slow dialogue between the two, and a way to capture the mystery, beauty and bewilderment of their lives.

A glorious, tragic, strong-hearted duet sung in celebration of life’s multiplicity in the face of death.


Albatrossthree stories

Carolyn McCurdie

‘Albatross’, ‘Collision’, ‘Wings of Stone’: three telling human collisions that examine discomfort and how people grope their way through it as they look for what makes sense and find (if they’re lucky) some true thing about the other, and so about themselves.

Carolyn McCurdie writes with a poet’s lightness, a novelist’s grit and realism.


The Desert Roada novella

Lynn Davidson

Returning home for the first time in eight years, Tess hears the house nibbling and ticking around her as it used to; she takes in the familiar iron and dirt smell of the cold here in Turangi where she grew up.

With its penetrating narrative eye and finely honed prose, Lynn Davidson’s story gathers to a shocking — then a tender — denouement.


The Linen Waya memoir

Melissa Green

Protégée of Walcott and Brodsky, Melissa Green nonetheless lived a knife-edge existence between poetry and despair, in a pendulum-swing between fervent, luminous writing and sudden, ferocious bouts of suicidal illness.

… having travelled to the outer reaches of human experience … with a fine-tuned lyre and Odyssean strength of purpose, Melissa Green reports her discoveries back home, in the language they demand. Zireaux, poet


Winged Sandalsan essay

Martin Edmond

Martin Edmond was a reluctant taxi driver on the streets of Sydney — three times taking up a trade like Charon’s, ferrying souls to keep himself in writing time.

Edmond is the sort of writer that makes you feel smarter, more creative and more civilised simply for having read him. Landfall Review Online


The Sirena novella

Aaron Blaker

Hector arrives in a small East Coast town along with the millennial rains. He is captivated by the elemental beauty of the swimmer Marama, the community's own Pania of the reef. Alongside his obsession grows disgust at the squalid violence of daily life around him

A finely calibrated story — deeply humane, and darkly uneasy.


The Happiest Music on Earththree stories

Sue Wootton

Earle wants ‘more than anything in the whole entire universe to ride a roller coaster’ at the A&P show.
Margaretha dreads the ‘sweet zephyrs’ of spring that lure maids from the house where her husband labours over his ‘vats of stinking hell’ — seeking gold in urine. Lily’s mother sees shapeliness waiting to emerge from raggedy rosebushes, and from a gangly half-grown daughter.

Three stories that demonstrate the author’s verve and versatility, her keen eye and attentive ear.