Gabriel's Bay


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What the reviewers are saying:

Gabriel's Bay is a rich, layered, affecting view of life in

a small New Zealand town.

Maggie Trapp, New Zealand Books


This is the finest summer read you can pick up.

Lou Ward, Napier Courier


What makes this book so engrossing is the author’s ability to get into the heads of all the characters she has created.

Australian Women’s Weekly


[Robertson] exhibits a true flair for inhabiting an ambitious range of characters and revealing the nuances of a small-town milieu with deftness, grace, and sympathy.

Felicity Price, Sunday Star Times


About the book:

A lively, heart-warming, thoroughly entertaining novel about a whole community.


Kerry Macfarlane has run away, to escape the humiliation of his wedding-that-wasn’t. He lands as far from home as he can go, in coastal Gabriel’s Bay, which bills itself on its website (last update: two decades ago) as ‘a well appointed small town’. Here Kerry will seize the opportunity to prove he’s not a complete failure. Or, at least, give his most convincing impression.


But Gabriel’s Bay has its own problems – a lack of employment, no tourists, and a daunting hill road between it and the nearest large town. And its inhabitants are not easily won over by charming newcomers, especially ones who suddenly announce big plans to transform the town’s fortunes.


Before he has any hope of success, Kerry must run the gauntlet of Sidney, single mother deserted by a feckless ex; the thorny domestic situation of his new employers, the Bartons; Mac, the doctor’s receptionist who adores her boss but would shoot you dead before admitting it; a football team of nine year-olds; and a giant restaurateur, who is only marginally less terrifying than the local Progressive Association, who will debate apostrophe placement until the crack of doom.


Does Kerry have what it takes to earn respect, friendship, and perhaps even love? Will he ever feel truly welcome in Gabriel’s Bay?

© 2019 Catherine Robertson

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