Quotes from readers:
‘Searching for Grace’

Dear Readers

In order to keep comments about Searching For Grace fresh and not too lengthy, I am reluctantly taking the older ones off.  My sincere thanks to all those who contacted me, expressing their thoughts and feelings about our book.  I know Heather would be touched  and marvel how this network enables us to reach out across the world, to express often deep and hidden things that matter most in our lives.

I too value your feedback, so I look forward to hearing from new readers. Please email me;

Best wishes,


Initially I had doubts as to how a true life story could keep a reader, not immediately involved in the family, sufficiently interested. I started reading it one evening at 6pm and read up until well after midnight when I very reluctantly put it down, only to take it up again early the next morning. I carried on reading until I had finished at about 4.30pm that afternoon - no housework done that day.

WELL! How wrong could my initial doubts have been? What a story - what incredible history. Although it's not the gripping, bodice-ripping, sit on the edge of the seat type of book, there is something quietly compelling in the way Heather and Carol write that left me wanting to know more as I kept on reading page after page. At times I had to remind myself that I wasn't reading actual fiction. A commanding and almost unbelievable story indeed.

Heather's relationships, her innermost thoughts, feelings, all told in a most candid way and I especially admired her openness regarding the
relationship she had with her husband Gordon. 

I loved her poetry – Gordon’s too, along with her inspiring views of the bigger picture of life itself.

Carol’s perspective was very interesting and I did enjoy reading about the close bond she shared with Heather. The last few pages of the book I found quite emotional.

Carol, thank you for a most delightful read.

Dianne Taylor


Your book is beautifully told, and so powerful. All the more so because it is not only a real story but yours, and your mother's. The stark way in which your mother's roots and relationships were concealed from her is haunting, as is the way in which this wound defined her entire life.

The story's underpinning of the mythic theme of loss of mother (Persephone and Demeter) has universal appeal. I think many women feel a great, and almost inexplicable, loss of the Mother in our culture. In this way, your mother's quest, a very real and literal search for identity and mother, resonates on deeper levels.

Jacqueline Feather PhD


I have just finished reading 'Searching for Grace'. I was happily waking in the night to sneak into the living room to continue reading. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions of so many seemingly improbable situations and how the writers conveyed the personalities and places. I admire how the narrative takes the reader along at a steady pace. A terrific read!

Jane Vial


Heather and her daughter Carol have together woven an engrossing tale in a true story with a plot writers of fiction would have given their eye teeth to have thought of. This incredible tale about a woman searching for the identity of her real mother and consequently her own, has all the essential elements so necessary in a good novel, intrigue, deceit, love, sadness, glamour and also humour.

We become close to Heather as she tells of her early life in 1920s London and her "finishing" in Paris, her meeting with the young man she marries without the consent of her guardians and of her arrival in bleak, recently burnt down Plimmerton, New Zealand. The story follows her adjustment from a somewhat privileged life to middle class life in New Zealand while always seeking answers to her true identity.

When I am enjoying a book, I reach a point where, rather than finish it, I ration myself to a page or two a day so as to prolong the pleasure; so it was with “Searching for Grace.”   I now await the film……

Margaret Carmody


This book was a great compulsive read.

While  “Searching For Grace” tells the true story of one woman’s search for her birth mother, many readers may find echoes of their own family’s stories and possibly their own well-kept family secrets.

Outwardly Edwardian and Victorian society had strict codes of behaviour, but before modern methods of birth control were discovered, many women from all walks of life had to deal with unwanted pregnancies. Whether readers will sympathise with this High Society mother’s solution to her particular circumstance, or whether they will be shocked, remains to be seen.

Get hold of this book, and settle down for a roller coaster ride; you will be taken from present day New Zealand back to early 1900s England, a stopover in South Australia, (where Grace was the wife of the Governor of South Australia)  You will meet a child longing to meet her birthmother, a loyal governess, a beautiful millionairess, several of her lovers, doctors with much to hide, members of the Royal family, a gauche but charming Kiwi artist and other characters and scenes that will seem to have stepped from the pages of fiction. But make no mistake, photographs, letters and papers give ample testament to the authenticity of “Searching For Grace.”

This book will give you insights into the times, laughter and tears that many of our forebears lived through. You may even find new reasons to be thankful for something you have taken for granted - your own family.

Peg Mackay