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.’