Coromandel Dreamin’ is the author’s first real crack at writing a full-length work of fiction.
It’s set in the Coromandel of the late 1970s, and is about a young, wandering teacher-musician-builder who ends up in a small communal settlement near Coromandel Town. It’s a love story with all the usual twists and turns that involves, but it also draws on the tenor of the times as some of the innocence of New Zealand had begun to dissipate and crime and drugs became more pervasive.
The novel takes its seed from a Steeleye Span ballad, Thomas the Rhymer, though it’s a more complex tale than the original.
It’s also, for the author, an attempt to capture some of the charm and simplicity of those times and that decade, along with the tumultuous changes New Zealand went through in the decade, one he also remembers as a time of major transition personally.
“If you love the Coromandel and a good novel, have a read of Coromandel Dreamin’. It is a delightful book that brings together a community of diverse characters each with their own individual strengths and the creation of a lifelong camaraderie you can resonate with. There are plot twists, turns and turbulent times to navigate on this journey of bravery, love and friendship. It is an enjoyable read that reminds you of the impact you have on others, the importance of belonging and what is possible if you say yes to the opportunities that come your way.”
– Jo Parkin
I have been a voracious and eclectic reader all my life. Some books make an impression more than others. I read Coromandel Dreamin’ in almost one sitting. The delightful story with its twists and turns in the plot, combined with a bit of a love story, kept me captivated. Ron Murray’s descriptive writing made me feel I knew the people in the story as I turned each page. It resonated with me, as I was a teenager at the time the book was set so each person had a face, each mention of a car took me back to a simpler time. I don’t have Ron’s way with words but I can’t praise the writer highly enough. This should be a kiwi classic and I could see it easily being made into a film or mini-series. When I closed the final page, I felt like a child whose best friend had to go home after spending the day together. For me this book will be my annual Christmas read, just like those who watch Love Actually each year. I am going to buy a couple more and make them presents to those I know enjoy a good read. Thank you, Ron; can we have another?
– Janine Godfrey
Coromandel Dreamin’ is a leisurely stroll on your favourite bush walk that will warm the cockles of your heart. It’s a delightful read that reminds us life’s too short to choose the wrong path.Our lead character Tommy is affable, loyal, multi-talented and enjoys the genuine connections he develops with the locals in a rural settlement called Elfland on the Coromandel Peninsula, a dreamy beachside location in the North Island of Aotearoa New Zealand. Here the days are long and filled with interest, that is until trouble comes to town. Escape to Elfland and take the path in life you dreamed about taking but didn’t dare. Grab a cuppa and a scone and indulge in a book that will remind you that life is for the taking and you get back tenfold what you give.