The Stove and the Stage
Set on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the gold rush period of the 1870s, this novel tells of an Irish showman’s adventures in keeping himself from the romantic clutches of a hotel cook. While he immerses himself in his new life, he is ever mindful of events in his past that he would prefer to put behind him. Telling his story in a light, almost whimsical way, this emotional, and often serious, character paints a picture of life in New Zealand for immigrants at that time. This is the first novel written by an author who has self-published two books of poetry, a book of poems and short stories, and had four short stories accepted for inclusion in anthologies.
Des O’Regan grew up at Inangahua Landing on the farm his great-grandfather took up when the family moved there from Charleston. He worked for an earth-moving company building roads and quarrying rock for river bank protection all around the West Coast. He later drove for Newman’s, services out of Nelson, and South Island tours. There he met his English-born wife and farmed on the family farm for a number of years. Six children later and widowed in 2012, he now lives in Nelson.