Charlotte’s secret diary
It is not often a family gets to celebrate the publishing of a novel outlining their family history 36 years after the author passed away.
This became a reality for Orewa’s Rod and Elaine Dennis, with the release of The Secret Life of Charlotte Gatland.
The book was researched and written by Rod’s mother, Patricia Dennis, and is about her grandmother, Charlotte Louise Gatland.
This non-fiction story takes readers on a journey through Charlotte’s life, starting from her nineteenth birthday in 1847 and her travels to New Zealand.
The author, Patricia was born in New Zealand in March 1907, where her and her husband, Dick Broke retired in Silverdale in 1954.
Rod and Elaine’s son, John Dennis said Patricia and Dick were well-known residents of the Hibiscus Coast, along with both his parents.
Patricia started the book in the early 1960s and spent two decades researching her facts.
‘‘She wanted to write the book about her grandmother for her descendants. She was still reediting the book at her untimely death in June 1981, aged 74.
‘‘This book really opens your eyes as to how hard life really was back then, and how easy we have it today,’’ he said.
The book is available through most bookstores.
Rod and Elaine Dennis launch The Secret Life of Charlotte Gatland.