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.

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