Ripiro Beach: A Memoir of Life After Near Death


The Stanaway family story has been enshrined in Caroline Barron’s book Ripiro Beach: A Memoir of Life After Near Death (Bateman NZ, June 2020).

John James Stanaway and Witaparene Minarapa were Caroline’s great, great, great grandparents. The twist is, she didn’t find that out until she was in her late 30s. She spent subsequent years tracing her family history—to Tokatoka where J J’s grave is, and to Kohukohu where he first arrived—eventually leading her to Ripiro (Baylys) Beach.

This is one powerful read. I found it riveting, at times confronting, moving and passionate. It’s a very brave book.

Dame Fiona Kidman

A vivid and profound journey into family secrets and the unknowable past. 

Paula Morris, author of award-winning novel, Rangitira

An unflinching, revelatory journey into the author’s family past, and also her own psyche.

Owen Marshall, author of award-winning novel, Harlequin Rex

Caroline’s emotional intelligence lights up all those deep dark wells of motherhood. I saw myself, and so many mothers, in these words: the heartbursting glorious hardness of it all.

Catherine Woulfe, Books Editor, The Spinoff

This book of yours is going to be well received. Your journey, both physical and spiritual, emotional and cognitive, tells a New Zealand story, a story that is inclusive, and that is the greatest gift of all. Thank you Caroline. There will be many who see themselves in your pages.

Rosetta Allan, award-winning author of Purgatory and The Unreliable People

Ripiro Beach is a sincere, well-written and very savvy memoir. 

Nicholas Reid, review on Reid’s Reader blog.

Barron’s courage to keep turning towards that which caused so much pain, confusion and damage, in pursuit of authenticity, connectedness and the soft glimmer of new joy, is something to behold. This could be any New Zealand woman’s story, for make no mistake, it is a uniquely New Zealand story. It is everywoman and yet it is intensely personal and, as the blurb says, ‘relentlessly honest’. 

Brenda Channer, Martinborough Bookshop Facebook review

Your book is absolutely beautifully written, with universal themes, and has profoundly affected me in a positive way . . . I now know my way forward through the gaps.

Sally, Parnell

It has been a long time since a book has given me pause and every few pages, I found myself going on little memory journeys surrounding Dad’s adoption and some dark history as well. I am sure your book will have a positive impact with anyone that reads it, as it did for me.

Guy, Titirangi

For more information or to buy a copy, please visit her website:

Author Photo 2020

Caroline has offered to sign and inscribe each book bought by Stanaway whānau—just mention it in the notes when you purchase. Ripiro Beach is also available at all good bookstores.

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