Title: Navigation
Authors: Cowley, Joy
Genre: Non Fiction: New Zealand
Pages: 202
Year: 2010
Language: English
Description: Navigation is Joy Cowley's story. From her childhood in 1940s Foxton, to family life, marriages and international fame as a writer, Joy takes us on a candidly told and often surprising journey. She touches down constantly at her retreat centre in the Marlborough Sounds, where she writes passionately about the seasons and the natural world. Warm, sensitive and peppered with Joy's irrepressible love of life, Navigation is a relaxed and beautifully written memoir. [Taken from the book cover.] NZ Interest

Comments from Groups:

An easy book to read; it created much discussion. It encompassed many parts of her life, personal, creative etc and the part that surprised us all most was her spiritual, religious writings. There were several teachers in the group who all related well to much of her writing about her teaching of reading. The non teachers didn't find this as interesting. Overall, an enjoyable read. Akaroa 005

Thoroughly enjoyed it, easy read. Joy Cowley expresses herself well. An adventurous woman - obviously her life experiences influence her writing. One member loved the way Joy is so visual. Joy turned everything into a positive experience and was a woman who could see possibilities. The value of oral history was emphasised as a basis of storytelling. Carterton 001

Everyone was interested that it was a memoir but were also interested in getting a wider perspective of some of her life events. A lot of interest persisted from her hardship, how the community was supportive of everyone and this provided a lot of material for her stories. Everyone was impressed by the developing of school journals with New Zealand relevant stories. Auckland 166

Categories: Non Fiction - New Zealand, Biography, Literary, Relationships, Religion, Uplifting, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, Blind Foundation book, Larger font


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By: INVER 003 2020-05-11 13:22:09
Most rated Joy's book highly and thoroughly enjoyed reading it. We enjoyed reading about the craft involved in writing children's books. Some found the middle section a bit harder to get through and we admired her honesty and the way she handled sensitive subjects without saying too much. Beautifully written. "When we all grow up, we want to be children."

By: LOWER 019 2019-12-01 18:07:55
Loved by most members. Inspiring author, we have great respect for Joy Cowley and were very moved by her writing. Triggered childhood memories and generated good discussion.

By: CHCH 449 2019-10-04 10:57:27
Interesting insight into Joy Cowley's life. Naturally a great style of writing but some of us found it got a little slow and even tedious in the middle.

By: TURA 001 2018-09-07 13:59:19
What a great and easy read, but a book so full of life and wonderful stories - we will think about them for a while! We will have to have a look for more novels by her now!

By: AUCK 171 2018-09-07 13:56:28
We all loved this one. We related to a story of our time set in New Zealand. Joy is funny and poignant. A lovely memoir.

By: TAUP 006 2018-09-07 13:41:45
All of us enjoyed this memoir very much. It provoked a very lively discussion and we shared many memories of events in our lives that were similar to Joy Cowley's. There was much favourable mention of how Cowley covered difficult topics without going into too much graphic detail.

By: ROTO 002 2018-02-16 10:27:40
All thoroughly enjoyed this book, some wishing for more autobiographical detail. Good discussion about the writer and the difference between the genres of memoir and autobiography.

By: PUKEKO 001 2018-02-16 10:25:16
We liked the idea of a memoir as opposed to an autobiography. The group had quite mixed opinions of the book and of Joy Cowley herself. Some thought her a really positive, kind woman whilst others thought her too good to be true. Some found the writing quite lyrical and beautiful and the book itself really enjoyable. Others thought the story quite boring, with what might have been the most interesting parts either glossed over or omitted altogether. Several of us saw a parallel between her writing and the movement of the sea she wrote so eloquently about.

By: NELS 009 2018-02-16 10:19:52
The group members all loved this book, and were off to find and read Joy Cowley's own books. People noted feeling "energised and inspired", and also admired the "deceptive simplicity" of her style of writing.

By: AUCK 015 2018-02-16 10:14:37
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed this book, even those who generally prefer fiction and/or dislike biographical material. The book contained gentle humour, and deepened everyone's knowledge and understanding of Joy as an author and a person. The language was excellent and very descriptive. We all felt that if there had not been people in Joy's early life who were able to facilitate and encourage her talent, we may not have experienced this great New Zealander.

By: AUCK 116 2018-02-16 10:04:23
Loved the book. An amazing woman, and a very modest one as well. The majority of our group are teachers or have connections with school libraries, so know her childrens' books and readers well. We have also read many of her religious works. We thoroughly enjoyed our first book of the year.

By: WHANG 009 2018-02-16 09:57:56
Wonderful read by a wonderful NZ author. Enjoyed by all.

By: PAHIAT 001 2018-02-16 09:54:18
Our group felt that Joy Cowley's memoir was very inspirational. She has the trick of understating very important values and truths within a lively awareness of her place in creation as she experiences it. She has an eye for the beauty and purpose in living, and has a passion to share the things she cares about... She has a regard and respect for the history of the past and the importance of the present to create a better future for all. Highly recommended.

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