All Day at the Movies PDF ☆ at the MOBI ñ All

All Day at the Movies [Reading] ➶ All Day at the Movies By Fiona Kidman – Thomashillier.co.uk When war widow Irene Sandle goes to work in New Zealand s tobacco fields in , she hopes to start a new, independent life for herself and her daughter but the tragic repercussions of her decision will When war widow Irene Sandle goes to at the MOBI ñ work in New Zealand s tobacco fields in , she hopes to start a new, independent life for herself and her daughter but the tragic repercussions of her decision will resonate long after Irene has goneEach of Irene s children carries the events of their childhood throughout their lives, played out against a backdrop of great change new opportunities All Day MOBI :↠ emerge for women, but social problems continue to hold many back Headstrong Belinda becomes a successful filmmaker, but struggles to deal with her own family drama as her younger siblings are haunted by the pastA sweeping saga covering half a century, this is a powerful exploration of family ties and heartbreaks, and of learning to live with the past.


10 thoughts on “All Day at the Movies

  1. Lisa Lisa says:

    I love it when this happens I started reading All Day at the Movies last night at about nine o clock, fell asleep very late at night with the book over my nose, and didn t get out of bed this morning till I finished the book at about eleven It wasn t that the novel is a page turner it wasthat it was so utterly absorbing that I just didn t want to put it aside.Fiona Kidman DNZM OBE b 1940 is a prolific New Zealand novelist, poet, scriptwriter and short story author She s writtenI love it when this happens I started reading All Day at the Movies last night at about nine o clock, fell asleep very late at night with the book over my nose, and didn t get out of bed this morning till I finished the book at about eleven It wasn t that the novel is a page turner it wasthat it was so utterly absorbing that I just didn t want to put it aside.Fiona Kidman DNZM OBE b 1940 is a prolific New Zealand novelist, poet, scriptwriter and short story author She s writtennovels than are listed at her Wikipedia page, because on the day I looked the list doesn t include The Infinite Air 2013, see my review or this latest novel, All Day at the Movies 2016 With the possible exception of The Captive Wife 2005, which I loved but have not reviewed on this blog I think it may be her best yet.Beginning in the brutally conservative 1950s, the novel is constructed as a chain of interconnected stories, tracing the fortunes and secrets of a New Zealand family Far from being the golden age so often associated with the postwar period, this era was a difficult one for women For Irene Sandle, widowed in the last year of the war, her only solace is the child born from Andrew s last leave, but she lost a satisfying job at the library because in the 1950s there was no such thing as maternity leave When she went back to ask for her position after the birth, it had been filled The land girls who had worked in the countryside came flocking after jobs in town She did have a war widow s pension after all, and a roof over her head, the head librarian explained It wouldn t be fair to take her back That wasn t exactly the point, because the roof was over her parents house For a time that was all right, but it wasn t anyp.18 Chafing for freedom that she can t have under her parents roof, Irene takes little Jessie with her to Motueka, where she finds work as a manual labourer on a tobacco farm To read the rest of my review please visit


  2. Kiwiflora Kiwiflora says:

    Dame Fiona Kidman, what a national treasure this woman is She writes fiction novels and short stories, poetry, memoirs yes,than one, film scripts She has won numerous awards and fellowships for her writing, she has been involved in the publishing and advancement of all New Zealand writing and books A true heroine of New Zealand publishing, butimportantly of telling the stories of women s lives in this country It seems to me that this latest book collectively takes all these pas Dame Fiona Kidman, what a national treasure this woman is She writes fiction novels and short stories, poetry, memoirs yes,than one, film scripts She has won numerous awards and fellowships for her writing, she has been involved in the publishing and advancement of all New Zealand writing and books A true heroine of New Zealand publishing, butimportantly of telling the stories of women s lives in this country It seems to me that this latest book collectively takes all these past stories, including fragments from her own life story, seamlessly stitching them together into a moving, acutely observed chronicle of a family over a sixty year plus period There is history too in this novel, even if it is in the very recent past for many people in this country Those of us around who remember, and may or may not have taken part in protests of the 1981 Springbok tour will recall it as a pretty traumatic, divisive time, even though it was only for 56 days The tour has a prominent part to play in this book Not so prominent but of equal import in the story and plot making are a variety of other events that were crucial to the times, if not necessarily so to the characters For example, the 1951 Watersiders Strike, the death of Prime Minister Norman Kirk in 1974, the Ruth Richardson Mother of All Budgets in 1991, United Women s Convention of 1975, are just a few of the milestones that are peppered throughout this novel, and lend enormous authenticity to the characters, their actions and lives This novel is the story of a family, a family torn apart even before it had begun A man dies during WWII leaving behind a pregnant wife, Irene The story opens in 1952 with Irene and her now six year old daughter trying to start a new life with a tobacco picking job in Motueka None of this goes to plan of course, and by the end of the first chapter, some thirty pages later, Irene has almost lost her daughter, found and lost a potential husband, been part of a horrible death, and in her shock, found herself an actual husband And what a bad life choice that turned out to be But what does one do barely coping with one child, and a second child on the way Irene was hardly unusual for her time, choosing to marry a man, Jock, making the best of what she saw as the best of a bad situation Tragedy strikes again some years later, with the death of Irene Widowhood is indiscriminate in its choices Little told are the stories of men widowed due to wives dying in childbirth or of illness, leaving them unable to cope with babies and young children Enter the stepmother, who often started in the household as a housekeeper, or was a widowed friend, neighbour, or just a lonely woman who saw an opportunity to change her life More often than not, totally ill equipped to take on the care and upbringing of distraught grieving children not her own Jock and his four children, Jessie, Belinda, Grant and Janice find themselves in this very situation The new stepmother may be Charm by name, but certainly not by nature Life treats each of the four children differently in its unfolding of events over the years that follow, as the fallout of those early days takes hold, and never goes away There is never any excuse for cruelty Jock and Charm, really are the most awful pieces of work, making the lives of each of these children a total misery It is going to give too much of the plot away to say what happens to Jessie, Belinda, Grant and Janice Suffice to say that collectively, there is teenage pregnancy, banishment, adoption, marriage, child sexual and physical abuse, racism and bigotry, what would probably be diagnosed now as dyslexia, depression and mental illness, domestic violence, drugs, imprisonment Wow you hooked now You want to read this A phenomenal amount of action packed into 318 pages All against the backdrop of New Zealand s ever changing social and political times It certainly is worth reading, if for nothing else than the documentation of change over the last sixty years or so in our society, and how attitudes have also changed For example, to women working and having real careers, something that was almost unheard of in the 1970s women having control over their reproduction, again only just getting underway in the 1970s changes in attitude to unmarried mothers, teen mothers, adoption to children with learning difficulties Although I have my doubts if things would really have been any better for those children living with Jock and Charm under today s Child, Youth and Family Service Admittedly the novel is a bit of a whirlwind There are many potential plot lines that could be furthered explored and developed, many characters I would love to have knownabout But this is a minor criticism The fact that I wanted to knowshows how engaged I was with the novel, with the characters, their lives, the decisions they make, what happens to them Dame Fiona leaves no stone unturned in her telling, with a geographical reach as impressive as her social historical reach Hokianga, Auckland, Rotorua, Turangi, Wairarapa, Wellington, Motueka, South Canterbury, even as far out as the Campbell Islands Her characters live in cities, farms, small towns They are poor, middle class, protestant, catholic, successful career people, students, teachers, marginalized, academics, hairdressers And this is the real beauty of this novel She wants people to get on, to live and work together in harmony, empathy, understanding and kindness for each other That despite our infinite variety in where we come from, how we live, we what do, we are essentially the same It would be so easy for her to rail in anger and rage at the way women have had to fight for their equal place in our society, at the injustice served to those who don t quite fit the traditional, conservative mould of much of New Zealand society in its short history And yet she doesn t She quietly gets on with telling the stories of damaged people, always with an eye to things getting better, not reflecting or dwelling in the past, having those four children Jessie, Belinda, Grant and Janice constantly trying to make it right and do better for themselves So, for two of them it doesn t work out, which are the tragedies of this novel, as happens in many families, but in the last pages there is a reunion of sorts, realistically awkward, which does give hope for the future of this fractured family.I truly hope you read this book, especially if you have lived through these times, have strong memories of what NZ society was once like, how things have changed for the better Plus it is just such a great story I loved it Is this Dame Fiona s best book I have no idea, but I certainly intend to readof her so as to find out


  3. Lisa Lisa says:

    This is the first novel I have read by this NZ author And clearly I am in the minority but I did not enjoy it I found the characters very wooden and one dimensional and while the novel was attempting to deal with serious subjects it was done on such a superficial level The only reason I continued to read it is because it is my reading for my online book club this month I felt bored and disengaged and had to force myself to continue, but I put it down three times and started reading other boo This is the first novel I have read by this NZ author And clearly I am in the minority but I did not enjoy it I found the characters very wooden and one dimensional and while the novel was attempting to deal with serious subjects it was done on such a superficial level The only reason I continued to read it is because it is my reading for my online book club this month I felt bored and disengaged and had to force myself to continue, but I put it down three times and started reading other books because I felt it was a complete waste of my time


  4. Alexandra Alexandra says:

    Story telling redeems otherwise wasted livesPostmodern novels tend to be about themselves, with little room left for the mimetic or what could pass for reflections of reality Without eschewing the metatextual, alluded to through the filmic narratives of the character Belinda Pawson, All Day at the Movies is about life in New Zealand in the past six decades or so, about idealism gone wrong in adverse circumstances, while story telling redeems otherwise wasted lives Defying accusations of the ba Story telling redeems otherwise wasted livesPostmodern novels tend to be about themselves, with little room left for the mimetic or what could pass for reflections of reality Without eschewing the metatextual, alluded to through the filmic narratives of the character Belinda Pawson, All Day at the Movies is about life in New Zealand in the past six decades or so, about idealism gone wrong in adverse circumstances, while story telling redeems otherwise wasted lives Defying accusations of the banal, this latest novel by Fiona Kidman proposes that anyone can achieve self realisation if perseverant, strong, and lucky enough to keep believing in themselves and be surrounded by good people Without being exclusively about women, this narrative about the human condition in one of the smallest yet one of the most contradictory countries of the developed world tackles the vicissitudes that the dis empowered all too often children and women have to face.Not two of Kidman s novels are the same While there are writers who imitate their own style from a novel to the next, each of Kidman s book is unique in both style and problematics a singular take on historical events as in The Captive Wife or The Book of Secrets, distilling general human meanings from the individual destinies of everyone or that of an exceptional woman such as Jean Batten, in The House Within and The Infinite Air, or experimenting with interconnected stories and mystery fiction in The Trouble with Fire or All Day at the Movies.All Day at the Movies experiments with short stories that could be read as both interconnected and distinct, self contained, narratives While prima facie fragmentary, the stories are connected through both the narrative thread that follows three generations of New Zealand women, and the depths of meanings and implications, that gesture towards profoundly ethical issues.The cover of the book, designed by Kate Barraclough, is elegant and intriguing it portrays someone who could be young Irene Sandler or perhaps her daughter Belinda Pawson, or it could have been me in the autumn before I stopped believing that acting on impulse meant freedom The unobtrusive yet distinctive text design by Carla Sy contributes to the blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction, through a reading experience that slips seamlessly towards a life experience The unusual text breaks five buttons that lift from the text and become symbols in themselves remind the reader that small things are sometimes the only mementos of great passions.All Day at the Movies is the sort of narrative that entices its readers into its folds Its weaving of stories rises from the stories of the land, from the history of NZ from the 1950s to 2015, from the time when the author herself would have becomeaware of the world and of her own identity, to almost yesterday The book is divided into fourteen chapters that vary in length from ten to thirty five pages in an incremental succession that seems natural, like the rise and fall of a wave, the rhythm of the sea breeze The longest chapters, the first and the tenth, are perhaps some of the most complex, where the world of innocence the city girl naivet of Irene comes across the experience of thinly disguised lust and aggression, whereas an apparently doomed character, Irene s youngest daughter Janice, tells her own story and is thus redeemed from a meaningless life to a meaningful narrative.Any NZ reader would recognise the contours of the world evoked in the book the wharf strikes, the Springbok tour, women s emancipation, as well as distant echoes from Kidman s earlier novels Yet, through the deeply ethical question it raises, the world of All Day at the Movies speaks to an audience larger than a Kiwi readership Its fictional universe is new and fresh and I never once had the impression of being overwhelmed or underwhelmed, tired or saturated with imagery or writerly devices and strategies I didn t have the feeling that I was reading a book, but rather living and breathing in its fictional universe, or holding my breath when characters faced tough existential choices that made me wonder what would I do if I were in their shoes give in push back leave fight And when a character s life slipped away one quiet afternoon, I felt for the ones left, yet sighed a sigh of relief for the one freed from a life unnecessarily unkind yet sprinkled with small joys the escape in a book, a memory or a story, a child s gestures or words, a stranger s kindness.Other than the stories woven into the book, characters lives seem to contain other stories that linger just below the surface, or some others that are hidden deep, tucked away in the recesses of memory There are a few very lovable characters Brent Butcher, Maisie and Seth Anderson, Irene and her children Belinda, Janice, and Grant, about whose stories I would like to knowTheir motivations are just hinted at, enough to both illuminate and leave the reader wondering However, the absence that is just intimated does not diminish the sense of completeness that the book imparts The unstated is the space where the reader is invited in the story, and given licence to fill with their imagination, thoughts, and emotions that which hasn t been said, that which perhaps, for various reasons, cannot be said.There is something redemptive about the telling of stories in which the characters engage whenever given a chance when making a new friend as Irene does in Motueka, when having friends over with Maureen and her middle class callers, as part of a group therapy session with Janice, or at the end of one s life.Belinda s stories make up a sizeable portion of the book, while she herself gets to tell her story through her art as a television producer I wonder if the selectively omniscient voice of the novel is in fact Belinda Pawson s The episodes and the whole stories that linger beneath what is narrated in the novel, as a presence just guessed, add depth and complexity to the novel their ripples move the narrative and crease its surface, while their absence articulates intriguing questions Who is Belinda s father What happened to Grant What is Bert s backstory There are questions that rise from the book into the world Is there any redemption for characters whose life has been an unbroken series of misery and misfortune Can the telling of stories offer fulfilment or atonement What can one do to prevent the tragedy next door Characters stories seem to be narrated from within their ranks, such that every story is significant, relevant, thought provoking Secondary characters stories are as vital to the novel and to the canvas of NZ society that it portrays as those of Belinda s, the protagonist These side stories could be the hubs of other stories, the foci around which other lives unfold, as in a scroll that extends beyond the borders of its rollers An intriguing secondary character is Maureen, a failed writer, whose story might suggest that the appetite for avant garde experimentation might have run its course a woman who had aspirations to write short stories but had abandoned the idea after several classes and as many rejection slips It s all this avant garde nonsense, she said when she finally gave up Who reads it Not me, I can tell you 135 However, there is a gesture, on the part of the author, towards avant garde nonsense and its fragmentary syncopated nature The novel unfolds in kaleidoscopic episodes that complement one another and push the story along Nonetheless, the overall impression is that of a coherent story, comparable in its psychological depth and social analysis with those of 19th century French, British, and Russian novelists This tellable narrative experiments with the episodic nature of stories that seem to make up a narrative network, where tales talk to one another over time and space.A novel in stories or an episodic novel might reflect the impatience of our times when few can afford to delve into a novel for long stretches of time Particular to our metamodern times is also the ethical dominant of the fictional universe A very contemporary type of ethics manifests in the blending of self realisation and care for the other, visible in the proposition that creative endeavours can and do convey meaning, as do selfless acts of caring for others, like in Maisie s response to Belinda s situation.Somebody on Twitter confessed having read the book in one sitting I didn t I savoured it, willing it to last longer For the hours it took me to complete reading the book, I was immersed in it with all my senses When I finished reading it, I realised that its universe had altered my world, modifying my perception, enlarging my horizons as a reader and as a person Through some cathartic alchemy, I felt that I had a broader,tolerant, and happier personality I thought that I could understand myself a bit better I counted my blessings and I was overjoyed.In the few hours it took me to read the book, I learnedabout the social canvas of NZ than in ten years, two degrees, and numerous conversations There are constants in Kidman s writing feminism, successful careers vs women who die before their dreams start unfolding, men who seek an illusion as Grant does in the novel, children who grow and move on Women s liberation stories intersect in the novel with as many failed attempts at finding one s feet in an ever changing world There s abuse, and the struggle to keep what matters in its central position in one s life there are temptations and failures, guilt and attempts at atonement Kidman s books fascinate through the ability to write as if she s not writing, as if the world in the book is as real as reality Fiction and reality weave seamlessly in and out of one another.The characters of All Day at the Movies express their thoughts as they meditate on events and circumstances, but there s nothing manufactured about their insights Their views are the sort of things that any real life perceptive person would express There s naked honesty about some of the characters that accounts for their verisimilitude their openness and unassuming self doubt make them endearing This is what she and Nick do they get lost at night and want each other and talk about it, but that s all One day it may happen, but she can t imagine that far ahead 180.The prose feels authentic, vibrant, and satisfying It reminds me that everyone loves a good story There are several stories that intertwine in All Day at the Movies, while also offering a chronological progression Characters develop and expose aspects of their personalities with each new event There are moments of joy and lyrical moments, as in this episode in Belinda s and Nick s story Another two days and it will officially be spring, but already the fragrance of new growth is around them in the dark, a magnolia blooming with its ghostly white cups in the shadows 181.Kidman s fictional universe is deceiving in its simplicity, like a Zen story or a Sufi parable that is the end result of years of meditation, or the crystallisation of an epiphany It s deep, and wise and crystalline, as a crystal that reflects light it mirrors reality and re constructs it it captures some of the light of the world and enriches the world with its stories and meanings The prose is clear and simple in the way that the ocean seems clear and fathomable.Even though there is nothing bookish about this novel, books are a constant, testimony to the author s affection for the written word Attitudes to books evolve in time, with generations Reading books all the time was bad for a girl, Irene s mother believed and recalled a friend of hers who has lost a daughter to books 29 But it is also the idea of writing a book that traps Irene in the tobacco fields, thinking that to write a book perhaps she needed to stay a bit longer, get to know the people better 29.All Day at the Movies is a meditation on human relationships that rises naturally from the narrative and that invites meditation It raises questions but doesn t provide ready answers It is a deeply moral book that would satisfy anyone s thirst for spice, a layered narrative that could be read at prima facie level the icing of a compelling narrative or at the level of any one of its multiple layers such as that of a social or a feminist novel, a historical chronicle, a cross section of human comedy, with its folly and potential for transcendence.The narratives of characters lives offer both pleasurable and traumatic experiences I followed them so close, my eyes against the lens through which the narrator was watching the unfolding world of the novel, that the moments of brutality such as incest or mindless violence hit me in the face and scarred me for a while, tugging at my sense of morality How can I live my relatively cushioned life when such things are done on Aotearoa s shore How can I witness lives lost because someone had made the wrong choices when trying to make all the brave and right ones What can I do to ease another s pain I found the book brave and inspired in the topics it tackles, in the non indulgent exposure of some of the characters flaws, while the evil characters motivations are hinted at in ways that bring both a squeeze of the heart and a tear of compassion It is also an inspiring book in the way it seeks the core of humanity in some of the most obnoxious characters However,importantly, it follows the flourishing of humanity within the humane protagonists No lesson is preached, though many teachings are imparted through characters reactions and the questions that their actions raise Can Belinda, who, in spite of her innocence or naivet you are always the na ve one of the characters admonishes her , or precisely because of her innocence, can she see what other people can t Can we afford a god like glimpse into the minds of people and see beyond the accumulating grime into a sort of original innocence A good book is one that makes you wish to meet its author and chat with them I found Belinda endearing in a way that made me want to reach for the phone and chat with the author for hours, asking her all there is to know about this fascinating character She s not perfect far from that She s a flawed human like you and I, but she s a perfect character in the way she leads her life in the taut tension of indebtedness to Maisie, in a sort of kindness oblige, and a sense of responsibility for those who happen to wander into her life.All Day at the Movies is not a novel that would right all the wrongs of the world, for no piece of fiction could, but it invites its readers to have a closer look at the world they live in, to notice its beauty and attend to its demands and duties, to extend a kind hand to the ones within reach To exercise tolerance and patience in the small worlds that we inhabit.I never spentthan half a day at the movies, but I did spend a few days reading full time, while the film of the novels that I was reading rolled in my imagination I will certainly try it one day, to see what a day at the movies does to my sense of reality and the moving and permeable borders between fact and fiction But before that I want to read Kidman s book again Now that I know the story I will payattention to the writing to its criture , and will savour it perhaps eventhan the first time round I don t reread many books, but this is one that I feel I must.And I hope it s made into a movie one day.Alexandra E Dumitrescu


  5. Tripfiction Tripfiction says:

    Family saga set in NEW ZEALANDThe book opens with the story of Irene and her daughter, who move to the tobacco plantations in New Zealand in search of work Subsequent chapters follow her descendants over three generations their individual stories, relationships and where they end up in the world The book starts in 1952 and comes to its conclusion in 2015.Irene experiences a love affair but in the end sadly needs to take apragmatic decision about her future life The unconscious family Family saga set in NEW ZEALANDThe book opens with the story of Irene and her daughter, who move to the tobacco plantations in New Zealand in search of work Subsequent chapters follow her descendants over three generations their individual stories, relationships and where they end up in the world The book starts in 1952 and comes to its conclusion in 2015.Irene experiences a love affair but in the end sadly needs to take apragmatic decision about her future life The unconscious family dynamics permeate the actions and desires of the next generations strength, fallibility, anger and disappointment.The author has many accolades to her name and is a truly gifted writer She explores the subtleties of human interaction and family with a deft and insightful hand Family ties can be wonderful, they can also be broken, and life itself intervenes with its characteristic capricious perversity.I was utterly drawn in by the writing style and the sketched characterisation I felt tantalised by the people who populate the book and wanted to knowabout them And that is where the book didn t quite work for me the book felt like a compilation of short stories held together by the family structure and I wanted to get to know the charactersthan I was offered Perhaps I am just greedy for really well explored characterisation, and oh, the potential for that really was there


  6. Jan Jan says:

    Fiona Kidman is such a beautiful writer.A carefully woven account of a family and its secrets.Hard to put down.


  7. Marg Marg says:

    A disappointing family saga The characters are not particularly engaging and it weaves through NZ social history like it s ticking off boxes I wanted to like it but in the end just didn t care.


  8. Beth (bibliobeth) Beth (bibliobeth) says:

    8th March is International Woman s Day, commemorating the movement for women s rights, equality between the genders and celebrating all the achievements of women around the world To celebrate this day, I d like to showcase a very much new to me author although incredibly prolific in her native New Zealand , Dame Fiona Kidman with her wonderful novel, All Day At The Movies which was brought to my attention by Gallic Press A huge thank you to them for opening my eyes to a talented writer I have 8th March is International Woman s Day, commemorating the movement for women s rights, equality between the genders and celebrating all the achievements of women around the world To celebrate this day, I d like to showcase a very much new to me author although incredibly prolific in her native New Zealand , Dame Fiona Kidman with her wonderful novel, All Day At The Movies which was brought to my attention by Gallic Press A huge thank you to them for opening my eyes to a talented writer I have only now had the good fortune to come across and for the copy they kindly sent me in exchange for an honest review I thoroughly enjoyed every sweeping moment of this narrative, packed full of drama, heart ache, testing times and indeed, triumphs of one particular family I loved how the author put so much heart into each character that she created and this only served to make me feelconnected and invested in each of them individually as a reader.All Day At The Movies is an epic family tale spanning about sixty years focusing on a few members of a family down the generations At first, we meet a determined mother, Irene Sandle who tragically, has become widowed with a young daughter, Jessie to support She is forced to work in the tobacco fields of New Zealand in the early fifties which does not pay much and is back breaking work but provides a roof over their heads and food in their bellies However, in trying to provide a stable life for herself and her daughter, Irene becomes embroiled in a life that she hadn t planned and unfortunately, will have severe repercussions for the rest of her children down the line as their story continues once Irene is gone.I cannot say any than this to do so would be to give far too much away Let me just say, we follow a few of Irene s children and how they deal with the struggles in their lives once their mother has gone and they are forced to navigate the world without her, without much support or strength from the other responsible adults in their lives We hear very little about Jessie as she runs away entirely from the situation but it is obvious that the damage has already been done We see aprominent effect on the children left behind i.e Belinda, Grant and the youngest girl, Janice who you could suggest goes through the most traumatic experiences However, all children are affected in some way or another and even though Belinda does manage to make some success of her life after a rocky start, there are still demons that return to plague her, especially those connected with her siblings.I absolutely adored the structure of this novel It s almost like a series of short stories, beginning in 1952 with Irene s story, meandering right through the seventies and eighties and ending in 2015, where we begin to realise the full extent of how each of Irene s children have been affected by their past experiences It s rare to find a perfect family of course, and relationships between certain members of our families can be tricky at times but Fiona Kidman illustrates these difficulties beautifully with a very sensitive analysis of the bonds that hold us together as a family and how tenuous these links can be, especially where there are issues of trust or neglect I certainly wasn t expecting some of the themes that the author covered, including emotional and sexual abuse, death, racism, poverty, adoption, mental illness I could go on, I ve just scratched the surface with the amount of issues addressed here Finally, I just want to touch on the fact that the author also uses events in New Zealand s history which I know shamefully little about to make an already action packed narrative evenexciting I was completely swept away, surprised and delighted by this fantastic novel which was a real joy to experience and I was quite sad to come to the realisation that we were in 2015 and there were nogenerations of Irene s family to follow just yet I could have read about them for much longer and there s certainly a few of the characters stories that will stick in my mind for a long while yet.For my full review and many , please visit my blog at


  9. ElenaSquareEyes ElenaSquareEyes says:

    I received a proof copy of this book from the publisher after requesting it, in return for an honest review In 1952, war widow Irene Sandle travels to the tobacco fields of New Zealand in the hope of building a new and better life for her daughter Jessie But this bold act of independence triggers a ripple effect whose repercussions resonate long after her death, forever shaping her children s lives for better or worse All Day at the Movies spans over sixty years and three generations, follo I received a proof copy of this book from the publisher after requesting it, in return for an honest review In 1952, war widow Irene Sandle travels to the tobacco fields of New Zealand in the hope of building a new and better life for her daughter Jessie But this bold act of independence triggers a ripple effect whose repercussions resonate long after her death, forever shaping her children s lives for better or worse All Day at the Movies spans over sixty years and three generations, following Irene s children Jessie, Belinda, Grant and Janice The story spans their lives, romances, mistakes and their own children s lives too, and slowly you begin to see the lasting impact of Irene s choices Some of the consequences of her actions are horrific but she was just as much a victim of circumstance as her children would be, and there s no way she could have predicted what would happen to her children At the time she, was doing what she thought was best for her and her daughter, struggling to survive any way she could.Each chapter is like a snapshot in time, looking at where a member of the family or people adjacent to them are and how they re doing As the years jump forward, anywhere between one to ten years, you see how time has affected this family These snapshots are an interesting way to tell these characters stories, and it does make All Day at the Movies a quick read, but it does sometimes make it harder to connect to these characters and who they encounter For example, you might be following Belinda in one chapter and then not be with her till three chapters later and fifteen years have passed, her life may have changed a lot in that time and it s through memories and conversations that you learn what s happened in that time you ve been away from her.All Day at the Movies is well written and features a lot of complicated characters Some are downright unlikable, but many of them feel like real people who make mistakes but still try their best There s some characters who seem awful but when you learnabout them, you feel some sympathy for them, but the story never absolves them of their actions This book allows characters to have layers and flaws without redeeming them, giving you a story about people who occupy shades of grey.All Day at the Movies is about family, how people can drift a part but also can come back together if they try It s about how one act can shape a generation and how they in turn see their loved ones and their own value It s a story that can be uncomfortable and harsh, but one that also offers a sense of hope that things can get better


  10. Keen Keen says:

    I m on the run because he always catches up with me Running away, moving, my whole life I ve been running It s like you re in the dark, not knowing where you re going to end up next And then he ll find me Kidman has been plying her trade for around five decades now and it shows The breadth and penetrating quality of her prose shows a mastery of her craft, yet it is measured with just enough restraint She beautifully captures the mind sets of many different generations throughout many post I m on the run because he always catches up with me Running away, moving, my whole life I ve been running It s like you re in the dark, not knowing where you re going to end up next And then he ll find me Kidman has been plying her trade for around five decades now and it shows The breadth and penetrating quality of her prose shows a mastery of her craft, yet it is measured with just enough restraint She beautifully captures the mind sets of many different generations throughout many post war eras, comfortably inhabiting the shoes of abused children with the same ease she does of marijuana smoking septuagenarians, and all along we can identify and relate to them in some meaningful way.From the tobacco fields of 1950s Motueka through to the city court rooms of the 21st century, Kidman grasps the essence and place with skill and authenticity This is a book about families and the many complex, frayed, flawed and enduring threads that make them up This book shows how politics affects day to day lives We see who really pays the price for political change, it s not those at the top concerned about tax increases, or favourable interest rates, but at the bottom We see how the laws of the land work in a totally different way to those at the bottom of the rung We meet the real victims of Rogernomics and Ruthanasia, the on going casualties of New Zealand s deeply misguided and damaging venture into free market neo liberalism.We see that NZ just like it s bigger cousins in the northern hemisphere, has created a deeply flawed system that overly protects and rewards the wealthy and powerful whilst ruthlessly punishing the poor and disenfranchised, a system that ensures the rich stay rich and the poor remain poor and rarely the twain shall meet We see the on going legacy of these divisions and how they play out in wider society and how hard it is to break free from the limitations and legacy of them We see how much of fate comes down to not what you know, but who you know.There is a panoramic feel to this novel, in one sense it is on a fairly epic scale, yet in typical Kiwi fashion it manages to remain understated at the same time Kidman retains a nice balance between the universal with the parochial, maintaining an accessible feel This is a haunting and powerful piece of work with dark undercurrents restlessly pulling beneath its surface and it s written by a woman at the top of her craft This is a thoroughly enjoyable novel, which is incredibly hard to put down


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *