The Sailmaker's Daughter

A Novel

Stephanie Johnson

St. Martin's Press

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It is 1918 and Spanish Flu is epidemic in Suva, the capital of Fiji. Twelve year old Olive is sent with her brothers and grandmother to Taveuni to stay with her childless aunt and uncle on their sugar plantation to escape the disease as her mother lies dying of the flu in their family home. The months that follow hold magic and sorrow for Olive, as she uncovers well kept family secrets and grieves for her dying mother.

The Sailmaker's Daughter is dedicated to the memory of Stephanie Johnson's grandmother, who was born in Fiji in 1905. Like Olive in the book, her grandmother was one of a large family; her father was the sailmaker in Suva and her mother died of the Spanish Flu at the end of the Great War. The Sailmaker's Daughter is both a tribute to Stephanie Johnson's grandmother and a powerful evocation of a mystical paradise lived and lost.

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Book Excerpts

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  CHAPTER ONELeaving SuvaHalfway to the dining-room, Olive remembered she should have put on her church frock, because today they were going on a voyage. Not the usual voyage on Dad’s little yacht to Nukulau Island for a picnic, but a trip on the steamer to Taveuni. Taveuni was where the Toffs were, and you had to dress up for them. It was seeing Dad that reminded her, going in Grandmother’s door. Olive stopped and looked in.There was Dad, standing at the foot of Grandmother’s bed.“Wake up, Mother,” he was saying.

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Reviews

Praise for The Sailmaker's Daughter

"Taut and canny book...it's like a piece of chamber music in a minor key, full of the sounds of boats and waves." - New York Times Book Review (9/21/2003)

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About the Author

Stephanie Johnson

Stephanie Johnson is an accomplished New Zealand writer whose work includes plays for stage and radio, poetry, scriptwriting, and novels. She was the 2000 Katherine Mansfield Fellow in Menton, France and the 2001 Literary Fellow at the University of Auckland. She lives in Auckland with her husband and three children. The Sailmaker's Daughter is her second novel to be published in the U.S.

Stephanie Johnson

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Sailmaker's Daughter
A Novel
Stephanie Johnson

Hardcover

Hardcover
St. Martin's Press
July 2003
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780312306939
ISBN10: 0312306938
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 272 pages
$23.95

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
July 2003
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429975964
ISBN10: 1429975962
272 pages
$7.99
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St. Martin's Press

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