We Can Make A Life

We Can Make A Life

Book - 2018
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Hours after the 2011 Christchuch Earthquake, Kaikoura-based doctor Chris Henry crawled through the burning CTV building to rescue those who were trapped. Six years later, his daughter Chessie interviews him in an attempt to understand the trauma that led her father to burnout, in the process unravelling stories and memories from her own remarkable family history. Chessie rebuilds her family's lives on the page, from her parents' honeymoon across Africa, to living in Tokelau as one of five children under ten before returning to New Zealand, where her mother would set her heart and home in the Clarence Valley only to see it devastated in the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, and the family displaced. Written with the same love and compassion that defines her family's courage and strength, We Can Make a Life is an extraordinary memoir about the psychological cost of heroism, home and belonging, and how a family made a life together. I'd always felt that I was emotional because I had been raised by emotional people: talking right from the beginning, unafraid of tears or love or closeness. Was it entrenched in us, to feel things too much? Would we have to fight it away - the black shape at the edges, bounding after us, a smudge of darkness in an otherwise colourful scene.
Publisher: Wellington :, Victoria University of Wellington,, 2018.
Branch Call Number: 993.83 HEN
Characteristics: 253 pages, 16 pages of unnumbered plates :,colour illustrations ;,21 cm.
Notes: "A memoir of family, earthquakes and courage."--Jacket.

Opinion


Featured Blogs and Events

“We’ve all been through a lot” Chessie and Chris Henry: WORD Christchurch Festival 2018

I doubt there are many literary - or related - events where you have the author, one of their subjects and an audience made up of people who have been through many of the events described, to a greater or lesser extent, in the place where one of the events took place. This was the setting for 'Earthquakes and Family Ties', a discussion about Chessie Henry's new book We can make a life,… (more)


From Library Staff

Hours after the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake, Kaikoura-based doctor Chris Henry crawled through the burning CTV building to rescue those who were trapped. Six years later, his daughter Chessie interviews him in an attempt to understand the trauma that led her father to burnout, in the process unr... Read More »

List - Best reads of 2019
Donna_R Nov 20, 2019

It has taken me a long time to read Chessie's book. I was scared it would be too raw, distressing, and maybe I didn't want to read about earthquakes. But I am so glad I read this book. It is a genealogy of aroha - compelling, honest, and true. Thank you Chessie, and thank you to your whānau for g... Read More »

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Donna_R Mar 31, 2019

It has taken me a long time to read Chessie's book. I was scared it would be too raw, distressing, and maybe I didn't want to read about earthquakes. But I am so glad I read this book. It is a genealogy of aroha - compelling, honest, and true. Thank you Chessie, and thank you to your whānau for g... Read More »

List - Katherine's 2018 top books
katccl Nov 14, 2018

A beautifully written and extremely moving family memoir which looks at family dynamics, the workload of rural GPs and the price of traumatic events. Featuring an extraordinary account of rescue efforts at the CTV building site, this should become a New Zealand classic.


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Donna_R Mar 31, 2019

It has taken me a long time to read Chessie's book. I was scared it would be too raw, distressing, and maybe I didn't want to read about earthquakes. But I am so glad I read this book. It is a genealogy of aroha - compelling, honest, and true. Thank you Chessie, and thank you to your whānau for giving so much of yourselves, for sharing the life you have made. Aroha nui.

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Eloisescanlan
Jun 12, 2020

Eloisescanlan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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