The central event of Chessie Henry’s insightful family memoir, We Can Make a Life, is the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Chessie’s father Chris, a Kaikōura-based doctor, crawled into makeshift tunnels in the collapsed CTV building to rescue the living and look for the dead. In her remarkable book, Chessie interviews her father, considers the psychological cost of heroism and the meaning of home, and asks how a family can make a life in Africa, Tokelau and the shaky South Island. Chessie and Chris Henry appear in conversation with Bronwyn Hayward.
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