All Day at the Movies
Random House New Zealand Vintage, 2016
Life isn’t always like it appears in the movies.
In 1952, Irene Sandle takes her young daughter to Motueka. Irene was widowed during the war and is seeking a new start and employment in the tobacco fields. There, she finds the reality of her life far removed from the glamour of the screen. Can there be romance and happy endings, or will circumstances repeat through the generations?
Each subsequent episode in this poignant work follows family secrets and the dynamics of Irene’s children. The story doesn’t just track their lives, but also New Zealand itself as its attitudes and opportunities change — and reverberate — through the decades.
What the critics said:
‘I can honestly say that this is one of the best books I have ever read. I began to read it on a Sunday morning around 11:30 and finished it at 7:48 the same evening. I couldn’t put it down.’ Read the full review by Lesley Vlietstra at Booksellers New Zealand
‘Kidman’s plotting of women’s lives and experiences in All Day at the Movies – and her wider oeuvre – is emotionally and intellectually enriching, especially given New Zealand’s close connection to the history of female emancipation.’ Read the full review by Siobhan Harvey on Stuff
‘This book should be compulsory reading for all politicians, judges, social workers; in fact anyone who has anything to do with managing the lives of others.’ Read the full review by Ruth Brassington on Scoop Review of Books