Daughters of Erebus

By Paul Holmes | Paperback
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Reviews (14)

The technical side of what happened on Mt Erebus on that fateful November day back in 1979 has been brilliantly explained by Justice Mahon, the Royal Commissioner appointed to investigate the crash of the Air New Zealand DC-10. His magnificent investigation and conclusions were rubbished by a Prime Minister desperate to remove blame from Air New Zealand who, as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, was desperate to save the airline, to save its face and its possible financial ruin as a result of negligence claims. Without a doubt, the airline was grossly negligent in changing the navigation co-ordinates early in the morning on the day of the flight and not informing the pilot. Daughters of Erebus is the story of five people who were left behind and how the whole tragedy affected their lives. On the night of the crash, Maria Collins - wife of captain Jim Collins - was a 45-year-old mother of four girls, Kathryn, 15, Elizabeth, 13, Phillipa, 9 and Adrienne who was 6 years old. That night, their lives changed. The next day, because her Dad would have expected her to do so, Kathryn sat a School Certificate exam and passed. The girls have all been successful, all are highly educated.
They are all quite different, all strong, independent individuals. They all have great senses of humour. Elizabeth says the accident made her an adult overnight. It broke forever a beautiful marriage of two people who loved each other desperately. Kathryn says they all became forever "collateral damage" of both the accident and the Chief Inspector's findings. They have never been able to end their grief. This is a New Zealand story told by one of the great New Zealand storytellers. It literally drips with pathos. It is a story which should - nay must - be read by all New Zealanders. 

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Author
FormatPaperback 
Pages456 
Dimensions234mm x 152mm x 35mm
PublisherHachette New Zealand Ltd 
Release Date5 Sep 2011 
ISBN-139781869712501 

Kerre's Choice

8 Sep 2011, 10:14am | Review by Kerre Woodham
Those of us of a certain age will always remember the first reports of a missing Air New Zealand plane on a sight seeing trip over Antarctica. The wait for news was agonising - especially for the families of those on board. The subsequent enquiries into what went wrong were lengthy, acrimonious and inconclusive - at least in the eyes of many New Zealanders. Whose fault was it? Had Air New Zealand told Ďan orchestrated litany of liesí? Were the pilots responsible for flying into the mountain? Now, in his latest book, Paul Holmes mounts a furious defence of the pilot and first officer in charge of the ill-fated plane. He makes no pretence at impartiality - as far as heís concerned, there was a cover up at the highest level and the crew should be cleared of all blame by parliament so their innocence is recorded in New Zealand history. Holmes has the trust of the pilotís wife and four daughters and their own personal tragedy is told for the first time. Holmes is a great story teller. His style is conversational, making it easy to follow his arguments. Whether you agree with his position or not is up to you, but this is a compelling and important book.
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Daughters of Erebus

14 Aug 2013, 12:23pm | Review by Marie McNaught
Great reviews, studied this in depth in HS many moons ago for a speech board exam. Will defo be heading in to purchase this and gain the other perspective.
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Daughters of Erebus

19 Jul 2012, 5:02pm | Review by Alistair Campbell
I can remember where I was when I first heard of the disaster. I was on holiday in Norfolk Island. I am currently reading this book, and like others I find Paul Holmes style annoying. Why didn't he use a decent editor to sort it out before it was published? Although I have read other books covering this accident, I am glad I also bought this one. Paul has found another slant to the story, and tells it well.
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Don't let the author put you off!

15 Mar 2012, 9:26am | Review by Karen Moffatt-McLeod
Usually I would avoid anything to do with Paul Holmes, he rambles too much for my liking, but the subject matter of this book is what attracted me. It is one of those "I remember where I was and what I was doing" moments, perhaps more so with my father being involved in the aviation industry. It is good to have a book that tells a more personal side of the tragedy rather than all of the technical, blame game stuff and for one I agree with Paul Holmes about the crew needing to be cleared. A must read for all New Zealander's - this is part of our history.
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Daughter of Erebus.

25 Jan 2012, 11:10am | Review by Peggy Fittes
Could have been much improved by better editing. As usual with Paul Holmes writing, too much repetition, particularly of the technical details. However, despite skipping parts that he had repeated, a great read and the last chapter had me in tears.
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Paul Holmes writes like he talks

23 Jan 2012, 3:26pm | Review by Niki Bailey
I am enjoying reading this book. It's definitely a story that needs to be told, but I'm finding Paul Holmes' style where he's all over the place and quite repetitive in places make the book harder to read than it should be. I do enjoy his conversational style (and his reassurances that we readers will get the message), but I would have liked much less repetition,and a more structured order. This is an important book and there is no doubt which position Paul Holmes takes (and good on him!)
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24 Sep 2011, 9:16pm | Review by David Gordon
My wife & I remember that night in November & felt sure at the time that it was only a communication problem and that sooner or later the aircraft would arrive back safely. Sadly that was not to be & the terribly sad news became a reality. We followed the news reports and speculation by "armchair experts " and were left with more questions than answers. We followed the Royal Commission of Inquiry with interest and read Justice McMahon's book. In doing so we were in no doubt about the attempted "cover up & orchestrated litany of lies". All along it was very clear that the Pilot & Co-Pilot were in a situation were by they did not know that they could NOT rely on their navigation equipment because it had been altered & nobody told them. When, due to "white -out " conditions they HAD to depend on their navigational equipment ,it let them down and took them on to DISASTER.
I am looking forward to reading "Daughters of Erebus" as no doubt it provides further vindication of the Pilots from those who knew them better than anyone else !!! Yes, these women needed to be able to talk and have THEIR story told--and now is the right time for that to be done. Thank you Paul Holmes for your investigation & research, thank you Kerre for your interesting review.
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22 Sep 2011, 5:30pm | Review by Louise Collenette
I think it is about time for a reappraisal of all the events that have occurred around this tragedy and this book has done much to settle in people's minds their thoughts about this question. It just shows you that no pilot can ever be too careful and even then disaster can still occur, through no fault of their own.
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22 Sep 2011, 3:46pm | Review by Shirley Remnant
Sadly, I feel that there is the broadcasting aspect coming through into the written word. Two seperate types of structuring and they do not crossover succesfully.
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22 Sep 2011, 9:58am | Review by Kathleen Emmerson
I remember this tragedy so well, it would be interesting to read another view of the subject to gain a better understanding.
Kathleen Emmerson
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22 Sep 2011, 9:18am | Review by Ann Hobbs
Normally I would not go out of my way to read this type of book but after watching the Television review with Paul recently I cannot wait to read this story, I completely agree with all I have read and heard about all this.
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22 Sep 2011, 8:07am | Review by Barrie Taylor
Kerre's reveiw is as beautiful as she is and that is saying something
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21 Sep 2011, 4:19pm | Review by alma johns
An enveloping, riveting and totally intoxicating read.
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21 Sep 2011, 4:10pm | Review by Elain Dye
I have yet to purchase this book and will be.
Kerre's reviews are excellent and have made me want to purchase more books than I would normally do.
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