‘Destroy the land and sea, we destroy ourselves.’
On the remote coast of New Zealand, at the curve that binds land and sea, a small Maori community live, work, fish, play and tell stories of their ancestors.
This novel was republished in February 2020 by Penguin Classics and was featured at our article at Medium last year: Around the World in 80 Books: A Guide to Ecological and Climate Themes in Fiction.
3.9 rating based on 1,910 ratings (all editions)
Roimata and her family have rejected cities and unemployment to return to the land. Here they live a rural life, fishing and farming just enough for their own plates. But when they are approached by property developers, they suddenly find their land, livelihood and community under threat.
It is the younger generation who prove that it is possible to fight back: Manu, child with nightmares, who was schooled at home and fostered a new heart in the community; James, the wood carver, who will retell their genealogies with his hands; Toko, the Prophet Child who knows he won't live long, and who warns as a young boy that the stories will change; and Tangimoana, lawyer, daughter and wilful loner, who sees 'the strength of a branch to be not in its resilience, but in its ability to spring back and strike.'
With its layers of stories and shifting perspectives, Patricia Grace has crafted a spirited and moving novel showing that 'good can come from sorrow, new life from old.'