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Jean O. Hill, (Jean O'Hagan), 1904?-1968.

About this book
The author says-

The people in this book have been real to me for years, ever since (in those leisured days when there was time to write a diary) I wrote on September, 30, 1942.’ Idea for a novel’. Sarah , Marty , Antonia- they were all invisible passengers on the boat, when as a family we emigrated to New Zealand in 1946.
Over and over again , they have, as it were, knocked at the door, asking to come in and live as a story, but always, regretfully I had to shut the door. Someone had to cook for the family.

Finally in April 1951, I was set free from the pots and pans for a while. My unseen friends seized the opportunity. They flooded in and took possession. In eight months – just the time it took to write down the words – the story was written.

Only one character , Mrs. Packing, the ‘char’, is taken from life. There was even leisure in those days – buried in the country in war-time – to jot down her sayings day by day. There was a long list of them. All the other characters are imaginary. Yet. As I write that I almost hear them laugh. ‘How can we be?’ they ask. ‘ We are real enough to insisted on being put into a book.’

This cannot be denied. The two typed copies are shabby and worn, unfit to do much more work. One busy young wife and mother sat up night after night making her own typed copy. So I do not apologise for these ‘imaginary’ friends
of mine and their insistence. I look forward to sharing their acquaintance with you. But do not expect this to be anything but a book by an ordinary person about ordinary people doing (mostly) quite ordinary things.

First published 1953
this third edition 1956
Printed by Avery Press,
New Plymouth, N.Z.

dustjacket scruffy
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  • Seller location: Napier, Hawke's Bay, NZ

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