The Drovers Road Collection

Adventures in New Zealand
Book cover: 'The Drovers Road Collection: Adventures in New Zealand'
Joyce West
Bethlehem Books
Number of pages: 
416 pages
Grade / Age level: 

Drover's Road is a sheep "station" set way back in the hill country of New Zealand in the 1920s. Gay (Gabrielle) Allan, who lives at Drover's Road with her cousins and her uncle, writes of their happy childhood, of their adventures on the farm, on horseback, and exploring the hills and caves surrounding Drover's Road, in an "upside-down world" (to those of us from the Northern Hemisphere) where at Christmastime the house can be decorated with fresh flowers from the garden and the weather is very warm. It is a world filled with family, humor, hard work and horses.

This Bethlehem Budget Book includes three titles in one volume. The first, Drover's Road introduces us to the Allan family and their adventures, pranks and mishaps as children. When the scheming Cousin Celia starts to turn her attentions toward their bachelor uncle, the children come up with a plan to "discourage" her after hearing one of the family ghost stories. After Gay and her cousin Merry adopt a good-for-nothing dog, he shows a surprising side in a pinch. And as for cousin Hugh's attempts at raising pigs, well... I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say this is a great family story you don't want to miss. In the second book Cape Lost, Gay meets her Great-uncle Garnet and does him a great favor for which he is indebted for life. Uncle Dunsany finally gets married and Gay begins to make plans for her future, but perhaps a little prematurely. Finally, in The Golden Country, Gay inherits some land which calls for lots of patience and some interesting adventures. Although she has a bit of trouble getting men willing to work for her on her farm, she finds herself choosing between an array of suitors.

According to the afterword, "Joyce West spent her childhood in the remote country districts where her parents taught in Maori schools. About her stories she said, 'When I began to write, it was with the wish that I might save a little of the charm and flavour of those times and places for the children of today.'"

Drover's Road is a nice place to escape to for awhile with your family, particularly when the weather is too cold or too hot outside. You can spend many delightful hours with the Allans and still ask for more.

Additional notes: 

Copyrights 1953/1963/1965

Donated for review by Bethlehem Books

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