The Toll of the Bush
William Satchell and ed. Kendrick Smithyman
First published in 1905, The Toll of the Bush is widely regarded as William Satchell's best work.
Set in the Hokianga district in the early twentieth century, it is an engaging portrayal of pioneer farming and trading on that lonely margin between sea and bush, where jealousies and intrigues punctuate the lives of the heroes and heroines. Above all, the brooding forest watches and waits to exact its toll on those who have sought to tame it. Kendrick Smithyman's introduction brings out a parallel, in the fusion of the legendary elements and a colonial setting, with Nathaniel Hawthorne.
This for many years to come is the definitive edition of Satchell's novel. – D. N. Ballantyne, Otago Daily Times