Jeane, February 2, 2008 (view all comments by Jeane)
This strange, beautiful book is written in almost a stream of consciousness fashion, alternating between present and past tense. The words swing from vivid, poetic descriptions to crude, rough talk and exotic-sounding Maori phrases (glossary included). The style is so unique it is a book you will either love or hate. I think it depends on whether you can like the characters or not: Kerewin, a reclusive New Zealand artist estranged from her family and her art. Joe, a Maori laborer with a drinking problem. And Simon, a small, strangely mute child. All three of them are terribly dysfunctional and do awful things to each other, in spite of their love and friendship. There is a strong sense of mystery and magic about the story, which addresses grief, love, isolation, violence and redemption. Also the conflict and meeting of Maori and European cultures. A powerful and enthralling book.
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