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Ripiro Beach

Does DNA write our destinies? Or do the hands that nurture triumph over nature? What is it that determines who we really are?

Caroline Barron’s father never found his birth mother. After he dies suddenly on her twentieth birthday, Caroline develops an insidious fear of her own untimely death. When she nearly bleeds out on an operating table during childbirth, it almost seems her greatest fear is justified.

Emerging from the experience a changed woman, Caroline spends the next six years poring over her family history in an attempt to make sense of her inexplicable rage. The family secrets she unearths threaten to destabilise her identity and carefully built life, eventually leading her to Northland’s rugged Ripiro Beach, where past and present dramatically collide.

“RIPIRO BEACH is a beautifully written, relentlessly honest memoir about one woman’s determination to gather the threads of a life that has come undone.”

— Bateman Books, New Zealand, March 2020



This is one powerful read. I found it riveting, at times confronting, moving and passionate. It’s a very brave book.
— Dame Fiona Kidman

A vivid and profound journey into family secrets and the unknowable past.
— Paula Morris, author of award-winning novel, Rangatira

An unflinching, revelatory journey into the author’s family past, and also her own psyche.
— Owen Marshall, author of award-winning novel, Harlequin Rex

Caroline’s emotional intelligence lights up all those deep dark wells of motherhood. I saw myself, and so many mothers, in these words: the heartbursting glorious hardness of it all.
— Catherine Woulfe, Books Editor, The Spinoff

The language is clear, precise and beautiful. The impact of the author’s searing honesty and her tight control of her material is powerful and compelling. A truly amazing book.
— Hilary Mitchell, New Zealand Heritage Literary Awards judge

Ripiro Beach is a sincere, well-written and very savvy memoir.
— Nicholas Reid, Reid’s Reader

Barron’s courage to keep turning towards that which caused so much pain, confusion and damage, in pursuit of authenticity, connectedness and the soft glimmer of new joy, is something to behold.
— Brenda Channer, Martinborough Bookshop

Caroline Barron is a woman whose prose is up there with this country’s finest female authors, think Frame and Kidman.
— Jill Nicholas for NZME

A really compelling read . . . an evocative writer.
— Holly Walker, Radio New Zealand

Click below to buy a signed copy, with a personal inscription from Caroline.

The inscription is written using the purchaser’s first name—if it is a gift, please email at the time of ordering:

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