Author(s): Joyce West
While her sprained ankle mends, young Gabrielle (Gay, for short) Allan decides to write a book about her home and family life on a New Zealand sheep station. To know horses, sheep, cattle and the land; to interact with local Maoris and wandering Aussies; to ride in the hunt meets, and to fall quite often into adventures of every kind are, at least according to Gay, part of what normal life should be. Through Gay's youthful recounting we begin to fall in love not only with her richly characterized New Zealand, but above all with the adults and children (and animals!) who make up this country-bred society of the 1920's and '30's. Readers will be glad that in this Bethlehem Budget Book, they can move from Drover's Road to the next stage of Gay's growing-up life, when she comes into an inheritance in Cape Lost, and finally, accompany her through the tensions and rewards that bring her into adulthood in The Golden Country.
"A most evocative picture of life on a sheep station, in remote country at the back of Gisborne, is given by Joyce West in her three books.... If sheep provide the money, horses provide the fun, and equestrian events such as hunts, shows and races are the background to much of the social life described in these books. [She] clearly has a feeling for animals and writes about them vividly."