The Story of Suzanne Aubert

The Story of Suzanne Aubert

Reprint now available!

This beautifully written story of a radical nun who became a symbol of political commitment and caring for others was named Book of the Year in the 1997 Montana Book Awards.

French-born Suzanne Aubert arrived in New Zealand in the 1860s and set up the Sisters of Compassion at Jerusalem on the Whanganui River in 1892. But she also published a key Māori text, broke in a hill farm, manufactured medicines and supported families through the Depression. This story of a remarkable life, described as ‘an outstanding work of historical biography’ by former Prime Minister David Lange, has gone on to sell thousands of copies.

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Table of contents


1 France – the mission, 1838–1859
2 France – childhood and family, 1835–1860
3 France – women and faith, 1789–1860
4 From France to New Zealand, 1860
5 Auckland – new mission recruits, 1861–1863
6 Auckland – the Nazareth Institute, 1863–1869
7 From Auckland to Meanee, 1869–1872
8 Hawke’s Bay – Māori and Pākehā, 1872–1879
9 From Pakipaki to Hiruharama, 1879–1885
10 Hiruharama – the church, 1885–1889 165
11 Hiruharama – the medicines, 1890–1894
12 Hiruharama – the children, 1891–1898
13 Wellington – the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion, 1899–1904
14 Wellington – Buckle St and Island Bay, 1904–1906
15 Wellington – the Home of Compassion,1906–1907
16 Wellington and Hiruharama, 1904–1907
17 Wellington – the children, 1907–1910
18 Auckland – the children, 1910–1912
19 Rome, 1913–1918
20 Wellington – the hospital, 1919–1926

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2018
Pages: 464
RRP: $49.99
ISBN: 9781877242427
ISTC: A022012000021406
DOI: 10.7810/9781877242427

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The Story of Suzanne Aubert is an outstanding work of historical biography with enduring literary value … It’s a remarkable achievement for a book from a previously unpublished author … It deserves every accolade it is receiving and is worthy of its distinguished placement.’ Rt Hon. David Lange, Convenor 1997 Judging Panel, Montana New Zealand Book Awards.

'A beautifully crafted work.' Margaret Tennant, New Zealand Journal of History, 31(2), 1997

‘If any New Zealand book has earned the label “long awaited”, it is this one … This is a superb book, scrupulously researched … stylishly written, generously illustrated and rewarding to read … Most importantly, it speaks to our times.’ Michael King, New Zealand Listener, 9 November 1996.


Montana Book of the Year (1st edition); GP Print Production Award; E. H. McCormick First Book Award; J. Dunmore Medal