OK. First of all I know the author. Not well, but we are connected through a kind of aroha not whakapapa.
Secondly. It’s a rollicking read and I was keen to find out what happened to these people that I felt I almost knew. It’s great to read a book set in New Zealand where the people and the places are familiar, although I suspect I’m not the primary target audience.
“Hours later a sober Ana smoothed the blanket over Rewi’s sleeping form. She smiled down at him as he snorted and snuffled in his sleep; his pulse was good and strong and his temp right down to almost normal.” That’s our kind of language and there are several examples throughout the book. The dialogue is pretty realistic and the horizontal tensions make sense.
It was a great read on a wintry day and I liked Ana a lot and felt I knew both her and Laurel and how they operated.
Colin and Margaret are drawn less well and I had issues about Margaret. Hmmm she just doesn’t ring true and Colin is a bit too much of a woose to be with Ana. Really. And Robert? Yes he seems a good guy but fickle in the end. Do we really change affiliations so easily? Piripi seems familiar but I couldn’t work out how old he was. Sometimes he seems as if he is 30 and sometimes as if he is 20 – but in many ways he is a ‘type’. He ‘works’ for 90% of the book.
The aunties seem very familiar and I laughed when I recognised their characteristics. And the ‘spiritual stuff? I get it. It’s not my world but I understand it. It works.
Overall? A great read. Lot’s of fun and tension. Some great characters but, the Pakeha seemed a bit, well, um, wet really. And I know for a fact that the author knows us.
Will I look forward to reading more? You betcha. (It does need a bit more careful editing, but in truth that’s minor).
Do I recommend it as a good yarn? Of course.