Ellie becomes a fruit picker in Nelson, meets some artists and then becomes one herself. In terms of plot, there pretty much isn't one. But her canvases continue to be haunted by an elusive presence she thinks of as her shadow man. Like any plotless story Ellie and the Shadow Man is heavily character driven. Maurice Gee, like Tim Winton, seems to be a wonderful secret of the Antipodes - most people have heard of Thomas Keneally or Peter Carey, but Gee and Winton don't seem to have the same celebrity factor and I don't understand why.
This is key to understanding the puzzle of Ellie and her story: she moves around and changes her life for this or that reason, makes friends and loses them, meets lovers that are not storybook princes but your everyday mediocre bloke; she's never quite fully settled, always almost belonging. For all the positive aspects of character development and its truth to reality, there is nothing that actually pushes this story forward. Also, the description of the landscape of New Zealand was an aspect I liked. Also, the description of the landscape of New Zealand was an aspect I liked. Imagine having someone sit next to you on a four hour train ride and start narrating their life to you.
In short, it wasn't an effective narrative device, and really detracted from my enjoyment of the novel as a whole. She begins her journey into adulthood aware of its disappointments but also finding passion - and enough love - to sustain and enrich her in unexpected ways. Ellie grows up to be a spirited, original and forthright woman who becomes a well-known painter but her canvasses are haunted by the presence of a figure from her past she thinks of as her shadow man. In this book, Maurice Gee creates a sort of literary vivarium, creating vivid micro-environments that he uses to make observations on people. Mate 2 1958 : 10-19. Again and again his plots are set in Henderson, usually under another name, or other small towns.
Ellie and the Shadow Man is not your average novel. The book follows Ellie for about fifty years from the 1950's into the early 2000's. Again and again his plots are set in Henderson, usually under another name, or other small towns. I found myself almost intimately knowing Ellie, and the people in her life at least through her eyes , and yet she remained complex. In Landfall Country: Work from Landfall, 1947-1961.
I found the first section about an experience she had as a teenager quite gripping, but after that found less power in the novel - possibly reflecting her maturation. Ellie begins her journey into adulthood alert to its disappointments but also discovering her talents and passions. Christchurch, New Zealand: Christchurch City Libraries. Even in the most recent, where Wellington and Auckland play a major part, it is their subdivisions — Wadestown, Karori or present-day Henderson —which dominate. Only just scrapes in with 3 stars. There isn't much in the way of plot.
Landfall 13 1959 : 120-47. Landfall 11 1957 : 194-221. I found the first section about an experience she had as a teenager quite gripping, but after that found less power in the novel - possibly reflecting her maturation. Ellie grows up to be a spirited, original and forthright woman who becomes a well-known painter but her canvasses are haunted by the presence of a figure from her past she thinks of as her shadow man. There is much she doesn't understand about men and love and sex, especially. In the case of Ellie Crowther - no, not really. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition.
London : Faber, 1990, 1992; Auckland : Viking, 1990. This one is set in New Zealand. If you want a limited perspective of life in New Zealand from 1950 to 2000. I remembered not knowing quite how to feel about it the first time I had read it, and upon re-reading it, still felt that way in a sense. The blurb on the back is a pretty accurate summary of the book.
She begins her journey into adulthood aware of its disappointments but also finding passion - and enough love - to sustain and enrich her in unexpected ways. We see her grow up, her relationships develop and the Shadow Man shadows her through the years. Maurice Gee is so enjoyable to read! While it offers insights into New Zealand culture and the artistic process, I feel it could have done a much better job of it if there was actually a more appealing incentive to turn the pages. We are essentially a fly on the wall observing Ellie as she lives her life, which, for the most part, is incredibly ordinary. London and Boston: Faber, 1987. Auckland, New Zealand: Storylines Children's Literature Charitable Trust of New Zealand.
Here we have the story of Ellie, growing up in a boarding house, bottom of the social Maurice Gee is so enjoyable to read! A life is not about one series of events that go on one to the next perfectly connected, and Maurice Gee paints the life of a woman as it is: fractured, a little disjointed in parts, containing everything to the person itself and perhaps not much from an outsider looking in. The eponymous 'Shadow Ma Only just scrapes in with 3 stars. But her canvasses, however, are haunted by an elusive ghostly figure. I wanted to know what, exactly, drove Ellie to create or drove her away from creation, and although Gee illuminates the facts, I wasn't convinced he managed to give them the weight and depth that turned them into motivation. Landfall 23 1969 : 101-16. Contents: Ellie Crowther is fourteen and living in a hostel where her mother, a single parent, is a matron. There are 3 reasons I can see to read this book: 1.
In 2018 Gee launched his memoir Memory Pieces. Awards: Short-listed for Montana New Zealand Book Awards: Fiction Category 2002 Description: 348 p. Ellie saw where she lived - the whole wide high place where she lived: city, harbour, mountains, sky - and suddenly it seemed natural, Dolores going away, and everything that happened, natural, held between water and sky like things in a bowl. He is married and has three children, one of whom, , is also a writer. After finding myself internet-less for a couple weeks while settling into a new home, and looking for something to do, I picked up this book from my bookshelf which I hadn't read since I was about 13. For a reason I can't put my finger on, the book pulled me in. In New Zealand Short Stories, Second Series.