A Message for NastyBy Roderick Fry
THE NUMBER ONE BEST-SELLER IN AOTEAROA NZ FICTION !
December 8, 1941. Marie Broom wakes in her home on Hong Kong’s Fortress Hill to the sound of bombs falling nearby. Within days, Japanese soldiers have seized the surrounding buildings. Soon afterwards they take over the whole island. Most of its British residents are forcibly interned.
Marie’s husband Vincent, a New Zealander, is away on business, trapped in Singapore as it too comes under Japanese attack. Macau-born Marie, 27, her three young daughters, baby son and the family’s amahs must face Hong Kong’s increasingly brutal occupation alone.
This gripping novel, based on a true story, is a chilling portrait of wartime conditions in the British colony that Winston Churchill was happy to abandon to its fate, and a page-turning account of Vincent and Marie’s extraordinary attempts to reunite – an epic of courage, love and endurance.
Many famous figures appear: New Yorker correspondent Emily Hahn; Australian doctor Lindsay Ride, founder of the British Army Aid Group; American aviator Claire Chennault of the legendary Flying Tigers; Scotsman John Keswick, head of Far East trading giant Jardine, Matheson. But at its heart are the ordinary citizens of Hong Kong as they struggle to survive in the face of constant danger, disease and near-starvation.
Hear an interview with author Rod Fry on Today FM here
Hear Rod talking with the wonderful Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ Nine to Noon here:
Read an article on the book in Stuff and watch a video of Rod and his Aunt Marie, one of the children rescued from Hong Kong under Japanese occupation: https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/books/300660186/a-war-a-journey-a-survival-story-a-great-love-and-now-a-book
Book+Publisher (Australia) says:
“This book fills a huge gap in wartime literature, giving Western readers a glimpse of the little-told stories of Hong Kong at the time. … A Message for Nasty is a hopeful – however heartbreaking – story with a strong heroine. It’s for readers of true stories who want to both fill in gaps in their historical knowledge and understand the world we live in by knowing more about the world we came from.”
David Hill writes in NZ Listener :
“With Hong Kong again virtually invaded and repression growing, there’s an extra relevance to this first novel by New Zealand-born, Paris-based designer Roderick Fry … a record, enhanced and dramatised, of the extraordinary ordeals and journeys endured by the author’s grandparents after Japanese forces came swarming into Hong Kong and Singapore during World War 11. … Substantial historical and biographical notes …. satisfy your curiosity regarding the protagonists’ lives pre and post novel.”
Imprint: Awa Press
Published: August 2022
Category: Biography/Memoir, Fiction, HIstorical fiction, History