Map Monday #23

Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…

This week I’ve picked ‘The Stranding’ by Kate Sawyer which is set in New Zealand.

Book Synopsis:



Ruth lives in the heart of the city. Working, drinking, falling in love: the rhythm of her vivid and complicated life is set against a background hum of darkening news reports from which she deliberately turns away.

When a new romance becomes claustrophobic, Ruth chooses to leave behind the failing relationship, but also her beloved friends and family, and travels to the other side of the world in pursuit of her dream life working with whales in New Zealand.

But when Ruth arrives, the news cycle she has been ignoring for so long is now the new reality. Far from home and with no real hope of survival, she finds herself climbing into the mouth of a beached whale alongside a stranger. When she emerges, it is to a landscape that bears no relation to the world they knew before.

When all has been razed to the ground, what does it mean to build a life?

Interesting Facts about New Zealand:

  • It was the first country with universal suffrage. This means that New Zealand was the first country in which the vote for women was approved, in 1893
  • 30% of the country is a national reserve
  • It is home to the longest town name in the word; Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu
  • For every person living in New Zealand there are at least 10 sheep
  • Auckland also has the largest number of boats per capita than any other city in the world.
  • You can visit middle earth (Hobbiton)
  • New Zealand produces the equivalent of 100 kg of butter and 65 kg of cheese each year for every person in New Zealand
  • 2.5 million cars for 4 million people (including the kids) makes New Zealand’s car ownership rate one of the highest in the world
  • Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest in 1953, was a New Zealander
  • According to the Guinness Book of Records, the steepest street in the world is located on the South Island of New Zealand and isBaldwin Street, with a slope of 19 degrees
  • 17% of the country’s population is native Maori
  • It was inhabited by the first humans only 800 years ago and it was, of course, the Maori who arrived first
  • New Zealand won the first ever Rugby World Cup, held in 1987
  • There are no snakes or nuclear power stations (and no they’re not linked)
  • nowhere in New Zealand is more than 120 km from the coast
  • Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world

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