By The Green Of The Spring

Paddy Richardson



Otto Bader, Pansy Williams and Clem Bright live in the small mining town of Blackball on the West Coast, shaped by stories and the dream of a better, more equal society to come.
But the First World War erupts and Otto, being of German descent, is torn from his family and the love of his life, Pansy, to endure the war interned as an enemy alien on Somes Island in Wellington Harbour. His suffering with the other internees, the culture of brutality and abuse of power by those in charge, is both chilling and truthful, and all the more poignant by taking place within sight of the capital city. Both his present and his future appear to be stolen from him.
Pansy, pregnant, marries good, kind Clem, who then betrays his socialist principles by enlisting.
Love, loss and abandonment haunt both Otto and Pansy, with reverberations far into the future.
Lena is their child. Spirited, clever and perceptive, she tells her own story of growing up in the closeknit Bright family and the changes that occur when Clem returns from the war, damaged both physically and psychologically.
Lena’s journey to adulthood is beautifully portrayed as she observes the people who make up her family and develops into an educated and creative young woman. Blackball is where she belongs and it is the place she recalls when she paints her memories.
By the Green of the Spring is the gripping story of lives changed forever by war, the hurts suffered, the losses borne, and the secrets kept, yet it is also the story of the capacity of the human spirit to endure, to hope and to love.

Sequel to Through the Lonesome Dark but stands alone.

Additional information

Weight 0.9 kg
Dimensions 15.3 × 23.4 cm

About the Author

Dunedin writer Paddy Richardson is a prolific fiction author. She has published two collections of short stories, Choices (Hard Echo Press, 1986), If We Were Lebanese (Steele Roberts, 2003), and seven novels, The Company of a Daughter (Steele Roberts, 2000), A Year to Learn a Woman (Penguin, 2008), Hunting Blind (Penguin, 2010), Traces of Red (Penguin, 2011), Cross Fingers (Hachette, 2013) Swimming in the Dark (Upstart Press, 2014) and Through the Lonesome Dark (Upstart press, May 2017). Four of the last five novels have been finalists in the Ngaio Marsh Award.
Paddy has been awarded three Creative New Zealand Awards, the University of Otago Burns Fellowship (1997), the Beatson Fellowship (2007), and the James Wallace Arts Trust Residency Award (2011).
Her work had been published in Australia (Macmillan), and translated and published in Germany (Droemer Knaur). Although she has turned to psychological thriller writing more recently, her first novel was a saga of five generations of New Zealand women, described as a ‘lyrical, slow-moving’ and ‘meditative’. Reviewing her more recent novel Cross Fingers, author Nicky Pellegrino wrote: ‘Part thriller, part social comment, part history, this is a very New Zealand story, stylishly written and compellingly plotted’. Paddy’s work has appeared in journals, anthologies, including takahē and Landfall and on radio. It has been highly commended in several writing competitions, including the Katherine Mansfield and Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards. Paddy is an experienced teacher of creative writing and has been a speaker at many writing festivals including the most recent Dunedin Writer and Readers Book Week. In 2012, she represented New Zealand at both the Leipzig and Frankfurt Book Fairs. In 2019 she spent six months in Wellington as the Randall Cottage Writer in Residence.
Paddy’s latest novel, By the Green of the Spring, is a sequel to Through the Lonesome Dark, which was shortlisted for The New Zealand Heritage Book Awards and The International Dublin Literary Awards.

Look Inside


ISBN: 9780995143784

Pages: 304

Dimensions: 234 x 153mm

Format: Limp bound

Author: Paddy Richardson

Published: August 2022


“This is a rivetting drama about the lives of the internees on Somes Island, their suffering comparable with that of people in concentration camps, all within sight of the capital city. Otto and Pansy’s love story is beautifully and hauntingly told; as the lovers are parted, it will have reverberations far into the future… A masterpiece of storytelling.”
– Dame Fiona Kidman

“Through careful storytelling, we enter a time fraught with unease and violence, where bombast struts by in uniform, as very real people find their lives stretched beyond belief.”
– Jessie Nielsen, Otago Daily Times