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The Space Between 

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In the Aotearoa New Zealand Bestseller charts for four and a half months and counting (including at #1) and #1 in the Unity Books chart.

Available in all good b
ook shops 

What's it about?

A gripping historical novel set amid the New Zealand Wars in 1860. 

As English settlers wage war upon local iwi in colonial Taranaki, two women confront their pasts to survive the present. Frances is an unmarried Londoner newly landed in New Zealand, 1860, at the dawn of the First Taranaki War. Once well-regarded, her family’s fall from grace sees them struggling to learn the strange etiquette of settler life. When Frances comes face-to-face with Henry White, the man who jilted her a decade earlier, he’s standing outside Thorpe’s General Store with a sack of flour in his arms. Henry is married now — to the proud and hardy Matāria, who is shunned by her whānau due to this controversial marriage.

As conflict between settlers and iwi rises, both women must find the courage to fight for what is right, even if it costs them everything the
y know. As their lives intersect in surprising and catastrophic ways, the question remains — will they ever belong, or do their fates lie in the uncomfortable space between?

And on a personal note ... 

I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of those who came before us. While researching and writing my Master of Arts thesis on New Zealand history, I spent many hours determinedly ignoring anything resembling academic analysis. Instead, I would read and re-read the stories of those who were alive during Aotearoa New Zealand’s tumultuous past, all the while thinking: what did it feel like to live through that?  That experience sowed a seed in my mind – one that I nurtured over the years, until it grew into a novel that combined my research with fictional voices, putting both colonial and Māori women in the centre of the frame. Setting this in the place my ancestors lived, and where I have a whakapapa connection to, is all the more special.


In the news  

Interview with Jesse Mulligan - RNZ

Stories about us | E-Tangata

Seven objects that inspired The Space Between | The Spinoff

"The Space Between does something new, something pertinent to right now, and it does it very well indeed." - in the NZ Herald

 

Real readers reviews - compiled by Penguin Random House 

 

"Highly recommended for historical fiction buffs, those wanting to learn more about NZ history, or anyone looking for a great story." - Scorpio Books

"A riveting historical novel and highly recommended reading!" - Review in NZ Book Lovers

"Wow, I finished Lauren Keenan's debut novel, The Space Between, in record time, and it's as though I have taken part in a gripping New Zealand history lesson." - Review in Kete Books

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