Winner of the Booker Prize in 1985, "The Bone People" is the story of Kerewin, a despairing part-Maori artist who is convinced that her solitary life is the only way to face the world. Her cocoon is rudely blown away by the sudden arrival during a rainstorm of Simon, a mute six-year-old whose past seems to hold some terrible trauma. In his wake ...
Winner of the Booker Prize in 1985, "The Bone People" is the story of Kerewin, a despairing part-Maori artist who is convinced that her solitary life is the only way to face the world. Her cocoon is rudely blown away by the sudden arrival during a rainstorm of Simon, a mute six-year-old whose past seems to hold some terrible trauma. In his wake comes his foster-father Joe, a Maori factory worker with a nasty temper. The narrative unravels to reveal the truths that lie behind these three characters, and in so doing displays itself as a huge, ambitious work that tackles the clash between Maori and European characters in beautiful prose of a heartrending poignancy. 'In this novel, New Zealand's people, its heritage and landscape are conjured up with uncanny poetry and perceptiveness.' - "Sunday Times."
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i loved this book. ms. hulme put her heart and soul into this story. she takes a controversial subject (abuse) and turns it on its head. she shows you the positive side of relationships where you wouldn't think there would be any positives. the style is eclectic and intelligent, and includes "train of thought." you don't always like the main characters, but they are human, with human flaws. it's not an easy read - stylistically or substantively, but it's well worth the effort.
i wish i knew the maori phrase translations were at the back of the book when i started reading it, instead of when i was almost through. the maori language adds even more depth to the story.
Sep 1, 2009
One of my favorites
One of my favorite books of all time. I reread it every few years.
May 10, 2007
Move over James Joyce
I read this book, which was written by a NZ Maori woman and has won numerous awards, while travelling the south island of New Zealand. It was a difficult but compelling read and gave me insignt into the character of the country and the Maori culture. The subject matter is painful, as the book deals with child abuse, alcoholism and alienation. The style is mystical and obscure (not sure it wasn't written under the influence of various substances), but the author does a good job of engaging the reader with the three main characters and that carried me through to the end. It would make a great book club read, with a wealth of material for discussion. I can't say that this is a book that one would "enjoy" reading but it is one that is rewarding to have read.
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