Daniel Smith: New Zealand Passage by Linda J Pifer

“Sometimes things work out in spite of the plan”


Final Front cvr.5.30.2015

It was my privilege to write Daniel Smith, book two in the Windows Trilogy; a journey with the 5th removed grandfather of the Smith family first introduced in Windows last October.

Daniel Smith is a man from humble beginnings; his parents worked a rental farm in northern Scotland while Daniel grew up to work in a nearby granite quarry. He married Rose and made plans to continue working the granite and someday own his own quarry business. But like many things in life, his plan failed along with Scotland’s economy in the early 19th century. Not content to give in to misfortune, a poster from the New Zealand Land Company stirs his heart to take a chance and enter a new path. 

Leaving all they know and love, Daniel and Rose reach the south island of New Zealand in 1848 by tall ship. It’s a land full of strange vegetation, mountain ranges, lakes, streams, rich resources and Maori natives, who believe the land will always belong to them.

Sarah’s genealogy research in book one uncovered clues to a Daniel Smith and a New Zealand connection; neither she nor the modern-day Smith family have any idea of his actual life, his sacrifices and victories, or how he ultimately affected those who would come after him. Only the reader can experience his full life firsthand.  Linda J Pifer


Daniel Smith escapes Scotland’s great depression in 1847 for the south island of New Zealand. Determined to succeed, he finds more hardship than Aberdeen emigration posters described. Daniel’s story stands alone but you will find many of the answers to clues discovered in ‘Windows’, book one. Danger, personal loss, true friendship, love and hope, play out in this rich and life-renewing story. Linda J Pifer


The beginning of the story tells of the arrival to New Zealand with an explanation of how long the journey was from Scotland, so the reader immediately gets the sense of anticipation from the first person narrative as they are ready to step off the boat. This is followed by the immediate experience of the natives and business merchants pressing in on all sides in an effort to sell their wares.

There is a sort of weaving in and out of the narrative as first, John Smith is speaking to us, and then Rose, his wife, in a continuous first person stream, but with a sudden shift of perspective and this continues throughout the work as they meet one obstacle after another in their struggle to start a new life in New Zealand. Later on in the book we get the first person narrative of other characters speaking to us as well. It like they are all telling us the story.

My favourite part of the book is the ending. Without giving too much away, here is it: Daniel reaches into a rucksack and withdraws a jade talisman which causes him to reflect upon his and Rose’s life together from the time they stepped off the boat… it’s a really beautiful ending; the type that captures the soul of the book.

I have never read anything like this before and it took me a while to get used to style. Yet, I think it rather adds to the storyline and keeps the reader intrigued. Anyone who is into new beginnings, starting life over, and taking on the trials of a new world will love Daniel Smith. 

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