The Carpathians

by janet frame | | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9780807612989 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingtigergirlnzwing of Napier, Hawkes Bay-Poverty Bay New Zealand on 4/7/2021
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingtigergirlnzwing from Napier, Hawkes Bay-Poverty Bay New Zealand on Wednesday, April 07, 2021
[please note, this may not be the cover]

Mattina Brecon has become very unhappy in life. Born into wealth she has always struggled to find her purpose in life. Though she has worked, she never really had a career. She has tried to benefit others with her wealth and support artists, particularly her writer husband, but is not quite what you would call a philanthropist. Though a New Yorker, she was never much of a socialite either but now her friends are all leaving the city for retirement elsewhere.

But she has always been curious about how other people live and when she reads about a small town in New Zealand called Puamahara and its legend of the Memory Flower, in a travel brochure, she decides to leave New York and rent a house in the town for a short time. On arriving at the small, old, wooden house, where the previous occupant apparently did not drink coffee, kept no bourbon for her afternoon Old Fashioned, Mattina asks herself what on Earth she is doing there. It is all a little strange. Rubbish deposited not in metal trashcans but in plastic bags by the curb. Fresh milk delivered daily in glass bottles by the letterbox. Street noise and traffic replaced by eerie silence at night.

There is a legend of Maharawhenua or Memory Land with its town of Puamahara or Memory Flower. A young woman, chosen by the gods as collector of the memory of her land, journeys to a region between the mountains and the sea to search for the memory;

[…] The legend describes how the young woman released the memory of the land when she picked and tasted the ripe fruit of a tree growing in the bush: where Eve tasted her and Adam’s tomorrow, the woman of Maharawhenua tasted the yesterday within the tomorrow, and realising that her search was over, she called together the people of the land. For many years with no human function but that of a story-teller, she recounted the memory, and one day when the listeners returned, they found the memory-collector had vanished and in her place a tree grew with one blossom named, then, the Memory Flower from which, it is said, fruit invisible to most eyes from time to time may grow.

Under the guise of researching for a possible book, Mattina makes an effort to meet her neighbours. There are some elderly widows and veterans and some younger families. Most are not from Puamahara but have found themselves there by some way or other. The older residents are passing time until the inevitable, and a lonely widow was murdered on the street just before Mattina arrived, while the younger ones are eager to leave for city life. Few are happy. There’s also the eccentric Dinny Wheatstone, an artist and writer who calls herself an ‘official imposter’ and who places a draft of her unpublished novel in Mattina’s mailbox. But Mattina’s ‘research’ is a little forced; again and again she asks herself what she is doing there. Is she here to escape or is she searching for something? What drives this wish to know others that she can barely find the effort to pursue?

Please post a comment to let us know you've found this book (you can do it anonymously, or, join up, this is fun!). Enjoy reading it, then if you can, please journal your thoughts on it here. Then, unless you want to keep it, please re-release it for others to find. You can be as inventive as you like about this! The information here on will give you all the information you need to help this book keep travelling around the world. Thank you dear finder :D

Released 3 wks ago (4/16/2021 UTC) at An NSS giftee Virtual Uncon 2021, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases


A wishlist book for my NSS giftee, for the Virtual Uncon 2021. Please enjoy dear Jean-Sol :D

Journal Entry 3 by wingJean-Solwing at Melbourne, Victoria Australia on Friday, April 23, 2021
The other book in my Better World Books NSS package is from a New Zealand writer, which is totally appropriate. I discovered Janet Frame when I read An Angel at My Table many years ago and absolutely adored her writing so set out to look for her books. This has been on my wishlist for a long time. This book is extra special because it has a message written in it, dated Christmas 96, so it truly feels like it's already travelled through a few hands (and continents). Thank you so much tigergirlnz and I hope we get the opportunity to meet at some point soon so I can thank you in person!

Are you sure you want to delete this item? It cannot be undone.