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Set during World War 2, Lighthouse Family outlines the daily preoccupations and living conditions of such a community, in isolation off the coast of New Zealand. Seen through a young girl's eyes, the reality of island life is severe.
Teenager Frances' diary details both her immediate priority of holding her family together, paired with the globally significant. War is raging far away, yet the adults' hushed speculation over the threat of a Japanese attack deeply affects the island children.
Frances writes innocently of her personal campaign for ''Saving our Island'', while her brother hoards supplies in case of need.
We follow their everyday mundane activities, interrupted by the excitement of Boat Days, when there is news and engagement with the outside world.
This is a full-length novel in the My New Zealand Story series and has supplementary historical notes, a war timeline, and photographs.
- Jessie Neilson is a University of Otago library assistant and mother.