Published August 2012
Reprinted December 2017
NZ Listener top 100 pick, 2012.
Philip Fetch is a lawyer with an office in a suburban shopping mall, a husband and father, and a cyclist on Wellington’s narrow and winding streets. He is also a man who increasingly finds simple things in life baffling. As he moves through the sometimes alarming and sometimes comical episodes of this novel, a break in the hurtling flow of events looms ahead. Is it safe for Philip to pull out and pass? Tender and magical, and fired by a quietly burning moral engagement, The Invisible Rider asks what it takes to be happy in the world.
Praise for The Invisible Rider (2012)
‘charming, heart-wrenching and funny. McDougall imbues her book with a lovely optimism and an infectious affection for her characters; this is a writer to watch.’
—Louise O’Brien, NZ Listener
‘quirky, playful and finally moving’
—Lawrence Jones, Otago Daily Times
‘Fetch has the ability to grapple with the borders of his life with a melancholy that belongs to us all, with a deceptive simplicity that sounds as if it is coming from his wisest self. The stories capture the delicacy of human feelings and relationships.’
‘The greatest merit of The Invisible Rider, however, is the author’s lack of condescension. Hovering in this novel is a sense of love – love desired, love thwarted, love not always guaranteed.’
Praise for Tess (2017)
‘McDougall understands well the advantage of the gradual reveal, teasing out her story yet leading inexorably to some kind of denouement and keeping the reader off balance, never quite knowing what comes next.’
‘so cleverly written and with such empathy for the characters’
‘McDougall illuminates a New Zealand that may feel uncomfortably familiar. The town of Masterton glows in its gothic fairy-tale setting, the threat of violence hovers menacingly and love shines through like the sun behind clouds in bright patches.’