The Field of Turrets collects together twelve short stories from the pen of fledgling New Zealand writer, Jeneane Hobby. Eleven of these stories are firmly set in the characters, landscape and seasonal change of North Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand.
The twelfth story emphasises the shifting ground beneath the feet of the immigrant and poses the question ‘Is this really the beginning?’ All of the stories however describe Love: romantic, familial, between friends, of place and even of the tales we pass between one another. The field of turrets represents the role the turret holds in our collective imagination both as a place of entrapment and as a fanciful retreat from the cares of the world. The turrets have a tangible place in the collection but hint at how truth is held for the future, gradually becoming burnished as legend before it eventually joins the realms of Myth.
From the Big Snow of ’45 to the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond, these stories offer a view of life through the seasons in pastoral North Canterbury and its neighbouring city, Christchurch. Lovers waken after the heat of the night to a summer’s day which takes a terrifying turn. In the field of turrets desire hangs suspended in the fragrance of cut grass. Rose throws a 2020 retrospective 21st party in her parents’ dream home and as snow falls, Soph is dazzled. An elderly couple caring for grandchildren and preparing for Charlie’s birthday receive a surprise visitor in spite of the Covid-19 lockdown conditions. An arrival in border quarantine, attempts to record the unfolding of spring from her hotel window. In a village where roses bloom in abundance, a writer is distracted by the view from her window; passersby; her visitors and perceptions of wonder. As summer returns a father shows his children how to inhabit the season, and an engineer voyaging in icy seas clasps his new bride close to his soul and imagines what their future might hold.
This collection is bound together with the passing of the seasons, birthday celebrations and Love. Love for the land and its characters, romantic love and familial love as well as the bonds of friendship. It is also stitched up with the love of the stories that people share, retell; stories that move down the years and travel across the world taking root in different soils.