Finding Out (Vintage) 1991 

Also available in French as Descouvertes (Actes Sud) 1997

Set in the early 1950s in a remote seaside settlement in Otago New Zealand, Finding Out is a coming of age story, revealing through the lives of its two young female protagonists, the fears, prejudices and secrets that lie beneath the surface of their conformist community. The catalyst for change is the new school teacher, whose arrival sets in motion a series of events that will change not just his life, and those of the children he teaches, but the lives of everyone in the township. 


‘Sandys succeeds in creating a world in miniature which stands alone, but also epitomises the mores of 1950’s New Zealand.’ Graeme Lay. North and South

‘Knox Bay  (where Finding Out is set) is as much a character as Macombe in To Kill a Mocking Bird.  And there are other similarities between Sandys’ work and Harper Lee’s … secrets, hidden violence, prejudice, power… Well worth reading.’ Gaelyn Gordon. The New Zealand Herald

‘Beautifully crafted and sensitively written, this is a fine book.’ Under Silkwood Bookshop 

‘Sandys is a writer growing in confidence and achievement…The ‘finding out’ of the title is both a study of the effect of experience on innocence, and a portrait of a previously insulated rural community dragged into the postwar world… Affecting fiction and good social history.’  Metro 159