Necessary Secrets

Book Author Greg McGee
Rights Available World excl. NZ

Spanning the four seasons of a year, Necessary Secrets tells the story of Dennis (Den) Sparks and his three adult children. Starting with Den contemplating his mortality on the day of his 70th birthday, the year ahead is told from four different points of view. A searing picture of society today, the family deals with love, loss, financial struggles, drugs, domestic violence, and all the issues that people deal with daily. As he has done in his plays and his screen-writing, McGee turns a spotlight on relationships and social issues while making for an entertaining read.

Longlisted for the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards
Shortlisted for the NZ Booklovers Awards 2020

About the Author
Greg McGee
originally came to literary attention when he wrote the iconic NZ play Foreskin’s Lament. Since then he has had a successful career writing for television, but again broke into the literary consciousness as Alix Bosco winning the inaugural Ngaio Marsh award for crime writing. He also wrote the record-breaking Richie McCaw: The Open Side. His first novel with Upstart, The Antipodeans, stayed on the NZ fiction bestseller list for months and has been published in the UK.


Upstart Press





Contemporary Fiction

Age range

Publication Date

Rights Available:
World excl. NZ

Rights Agents:


Kevin Chapman, Upstart Press

Contact Upstart Press about this book

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A dissection of a year in the life of a New Zealand family in conflict. It is a triumph of writerly skill, with universal relevance.


It's sharply observed social commentary that doesn't for one moment feel preachy or distant.

NZ Herald

McGee’s versatility as a writer and experience with stage and screen shine throughout the novel.


It is a beautiful yet hard-hitting novel

The Reader blog (Booksellers NZ)

Necessary Secrets is a contemporary take on family dynamics.

New Zealand Review of Books

McGee is a fine writer who isn’t afraid to let his anger out on the page, muzzled only by a blackly comedic touch.

The Spinoff