21 Aug 2022

A new novel remembers the plight of German internees

From Standing Room Only, 1:31 pm on 21 August 2022
Paddy Richardson

Paddy Richardson Photo: carolinedavies©2017

Paddy Richardson

Photo: supplied

The brutality endured by First World War internees on Wellington's Matiu/Somes Island is remembered by Dunedin author Paddy Richardson in her latest novel.

Many of the interns, who had German heritage, had already faced hostility from their neighbours even before they were impounded by New Zealand officials.

By the Green of the Spring also tells of the grief suffered by the interns' families and partners.  

In the novel, engaged couple Pansy and Otto live happily in Blackball on the South Island West Coast.  But when Otto is carted off by the wartime authorities, Pansy quickly marries their mutual friend Clem rather than have Otto's child out of wedlock.

Lynn Freeman first talks to the author about the dark history of Somes Island.

By the Green of the Spring by Paddy Richardson is published by Quentin Wilson. It's the sequel to her novel Through The Lonesome Dark.