Musical keyboard to literary

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Oamaru identity Pauline Thwaites, well-known as the piano accordion busker in the town centre, has become a published author.

She has written a saga of a working-class family struggling with everyday life.

Down the Lane Home is being launched at a free function at the Oamaru Library next Wednesday at 6pm.

The book is set in Oamaru from the Depression in the 1930s to the late 1950s. It features a harassed mother with an uncaring and often violent husband, whose children bear the daily brunt of their dysfunctional relationship.

The author, writing as the character Peggy, tells of holidays in Timaru with her adored grandmother and kindnesses shown by other relatives that offset the misery.

Peggy’s lively imagination, self-sufficiency, and unconventionality set her at odds with her mother and siblings – and apart from other children at school.

Peggy handles difficulties including a bullying older brother to retain an optimistic outlook.

Down the Lane Home is a deeply personal story of overcoming adversity with many small triumphs, showing the power of the human spirit.

Miss Thwaites, born and raised in Oamaru, was the third child in a family of eight. She attended Waitaki Girls’ High School and has always been interested in art, music, and history.

She is renowned for standing up for those less fortunate in life.