This is a book that lingers. I picked it up because of the cover and title.. which reached out to me. There were many things in the book that were so real, and deep.
Sometimes it was hard to read.
This is fiction that tells the truth.
This is an intense and harrowing book, and I loved it. Reading this book really hurt. It's a wrenching portrayal of strong and intelligent people whose own strength is tearing themselves apart, and whose unflinching acceptance of reality can't overcome the damage done to them. I fell in love with Kerewin, brilliant and loquacious, and slowly eating herself alive.
Powerful and disturbing book. An abused and traumatized child, a man whose dreams have died one by one, and a woman who has shut herself off from life come together in a mixture of violence and love that threatens to destroy all of them.
I loved this book. I have lived in New Zealand, and the descriptive writing really gives you a sense of the people and landscape of those islands. There is a lot of Maori language used (thankfully, there's a section at the end that explains and translates), and it adds to the exotic-yet-familiar feel of the writing. There are disturbing issues among the characters, including serious child abuse, which should be noted by those sensitive to such topics. Very highly recommended for fans of contemporary or New Zealand literature.
This is a really interesting book! It's suspenseful and intelligently-written, and I highly recommend it.
From the back of the book...
"In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes, part Maori, part European, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor-- a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most prized posession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon's federal charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge."