CLOSED. NZ novel Ocean of Milk

Ocean of Milk


The haunting diary of a mother’s journey through raising her unconventional children while searching to understand every element of her own existence, it’s a first novel buoyed by imagination, perception and beautiful prose.”

Siobhan Harvey

Waking up in hospital, all memory erased like a computer restored to factory settings, Amalia enters a bizarre world where nothing is normal, everything is experienced as if for the first time. Her perplexed husband, staunch father, and mother who wants nothing more than a bit of peace to write her book – all find their lives thrown into chaos. Only her two young sons, Mattie and Sammie, seem unfazed, travelling with their mother to a magical world of beauty and colour.

The doctor’s assurance that Amalia’s memories will return over time provides scant comfort as she not only starts remembering things which have never happened, but also acquiring a repertoire of rather curious abilities. Could her father be right when he declares his daughter has had a personality transplant.

As Amalia’s two worlds start to collide the chaos escalates until it’s not just the family who are disturbed. If people would only listen, they might understand. But then, who’s going to listen to a mad woman?

“In Ocean of Milk” explains Aycrigg, “I sought to create a protagonist who had no preconceived ideas; she would be able to see things afresh, free from conditioning by prevailing paradigms. I wanted her to be exposed to representatives of traditional versus alternative, metaphysical versus rationalist viewpoints, to be an impartial observer and thus commentator on each.  As it turns out, she spends most of her time in search of herself and being pressured to conform by the different worldviews she encounters. Not knowing herself, she becomes subjected to all the establishment institutions: medical, legal and educational, and lurches from one disaster to another.

When she finally discovers herself and her powers, she attempts to heal ancient conflicts between opposing parties and bring the opponents to a deeper awareness of unity in diversity. However, this requires the ultimate sacrifice, a sacrifice only she can make.”

Ocean of Milk is a roller coaster set in a dream-like world.  A thriller of sorts, or a fairy story, culminating in a redemptive grand finale.

“Ocean of Milk is not just a good novel or a fine debut, but a great novel, a novel that reminds us what novels are really for. Susan Strang said, ‘We need fiction to stretch our world,’ and if any novel stretches our world it is this one … the best novel I’ve read for a very long time.”

– Mike Johnson Editor of Lasavia Publishing


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