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Deathwalker’s Guide to Life podcast: Caroline and her memoir, Ripiro Beach

By October 9, 2023No Comments
Death in Print: Ripiro Beach: A memoir of life after near death, Meet: Author and literary citizen Caroline Barron. Death on Screen: Taboo Education YouTube channel

Deathwalker’s Guide to Life is a podcast that explores how thinking & talking about death can help you live a life without regrets.

On the inside flap of Ripiro Beach: A memoir of life after near death, the following questions are posed: Does DNA write our destinies? Or do the hands that nurture triumph over nature? What is it that determines who we really are?

In this book, Caroline sets out to answer these questions after she experiences a near death experience shortly after giving birth to her second daughter. This serves as the inciting incident in the book.

However, the story really begins earlier when Caroline’s father died suddenly on her 20th birthday, and she developed 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.

There are so many layers in this story – as Caroline embarks with desperation on her journey to understand the post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms she is experiencing she also makes progress with her family history research – which gives the story a propulsive sense of immediacy. In many ways, it feels like it’s unfolding in real time – it’s a real page turner.


Find out more and buy the book
Caroline and fellow memoirist Sarah Myles kōrero about writing grief