“BACK TO ANATORI”
By Henriette Fleischer
Bridget Coleman has just turned fifty. Her mother has recently died and she has inherited enough money to enable her to leave her long-time career as an English teacher, put a failed relationship behind her and make some sweeping changes in her life.
She is a talented cook with a penchant for exotic recipes and a prolific reader of English literature. She is passionately in love with nature and people and is drawn to the sweeping isolated beaches, the ever-changing sea, calm, mysterious estuarine waters, dramatic mountains, fertile green valleys, stunning skies and rich bird life of Golden Bay, a region in the far north-west of the South Island of New Zealand.
Bridget moves to a small, rural township, almost at the end of the road, in the far north-west of Golden Bay: Collingwood. Beyond Collingwood on the West Coast, at the very end of the road, is a magical place called Anatori. She is drawn back to this beautiful, isolated part of New Zealand where, in her twenties, she had experienced the beginning of her first passionate love affair and conceived her only son.
In the years that followed, Bridget suffered post-natal depression which led to the break-up of her relationship, hospital admissions, medication, and finally the separation from her son who was taken by his father to live in Australia. She lost all contact with him.
Content of novel:
In Collingwood, Bridget moves into a quaint old cottage near the beach, takes part-time work as a cook in a local café and
starts up a life-coaching clinic.
The book covers the twelve months she lives in the township and describes the people that weave in and out of her life during that time, as well as her own personal journey.
Bridget’s life takes many surprising turns as she becomes involved in the drama and joys of the people she meets, observes the twists and turns of their personal journeys and becomes an accepted part of this small, rural community … a community that expresses the common human desires for connection, love, survival, peace, creativity and spiritual evolution … a community that struggles with anger, fear, poverty, social convention, senseless laws, old age and unconventional sexual needs.
Although happy with her single, celibate state, Bridget’s life in this small, rural community presents some surprising opportunities for love and friendship.
Through the eyes and mouth of Bridget and the people she meets, deep questions about the meaning of life, love, relationship, birth and death are explored.