Does DNA write our destinies? Or do the hands that nurture triumph over nature? What is it that determines who we really are? Caroline Barron's father never found his birth mother. After he dies suddenly on her twentieth birthday, Caroline develops an insidious fear of her own untimely death. When she nearly bleeds out on an operating table during childbirth, it almost seems her greatest fear is justified. Emerging from the experience a changed woman, Caroline spends the next six years poring over her family history in an attempt to make sense of her inexplicable rage. The family secrets she unearths threaten to destabilise her identity and carefully built life, eventually leading her to Northland's rugged Ripiro Beach, where past and present dramatically collide. Ripiro Beach is a beautifully written, relentlessly honest memoir about one woman's determination to gather the threads of a life that has come undone.