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Bronwyn Bannister

The ghosts of Seacliff stole quietly across the fields, not moving the grass, not shifting the air. And a small one stood back, letting the others pass …

Once upon a time there was a small settlement, north of Dunedin, where a huge psychiatric hospital sprawled on the hillside and a patchwork of farmland sloped down to the cliffs that edged the sea.

Once upon a time there were two women, Irene and Margaret.

This is the story of the friendship that ties them together for almost forty years. As their lives unfold, memories twist and shift and fairytales take on a new and frightening slant.

It is the story of simple human needs, and a terrible secret.

And the small ghost dropped into a crack in the land, and slipped away.

About the book

• Set in a place (Seacliff) that has so much history and atmosphere it is almost a fictional character itself.
• Story revolves around a horrifying incident – the discovery of an infant kept in a shed on a farm, in 1928. (This is not a real event.)
• Has elements of a ghost story and very much a psychological thriller, albeit a quiet one.
• Interesting exploration of a friendship between two women.

About the Author

Bronwyn Bannister is a writer living in Dunedin. She has written plays and short stories and her work has been broadcast on National Radio. Haunt is her first novel. She has family connections with Seacliff, where the novel is set.

Publication details

Fiction, 210 x 140 mm, 152 pp, ISBN 978 1 877133 84 8, $24.95, July 2000


‘…an intricate creation, an impressive first novel.’ – Waikato Times

‘Well-timed and confident, this novel does the magical – it tricks the reader, and few first novels can make that claim.’ – New Zealand Books