They come together as five-year-olds at Freeman's Bay School in Auckland: Mere and Laura, Keith and Paul, Aaron and Daniel. They are the 'tribe', Maori, Samoan and Palagi, and through thick and thin, fortune and misfortune, they will remain connected by fierce loyalty and friendship. Down the track when Aaron is killed and Daniel called to execute his will, the tribe come together again, forced to face up to and examine the course of their lives and the choices they have and haven't made.
With its familiar multicultural setting and cogent characters, this is a complex story distinguished by its skilful dissection of the waft and weft of connections.
We always enjoy books set in N.Z. and especially in Auckland. Most of us could relate to the era 'the tribe' grew up in. This is a great story, well-written with a slightly sinister undertone.
This one was an interesting read.
Enjoyed by all. A relevant N.Z. story offering plenty of topics for discussion.
Well-written social history with strong characters. Moral issues well handled.
Not his best work. Perhaps would have made a better TV script. Our group thought a better read was "Sons for the Return Home".
As no-one in the group had read an Albert Wendt novel previously, it was approached with great anticipation. Many of the group found that the author's self-promotion was a little unnecessary. The novel was felt to be well-written with detailed characterisations. There was a degree of unevenness between the character's professional positions, and their acceptance /non-investigation of the criminal activity alluded to.
A split verdict. Those of us who have read his other books thought he re-used a lot of his earlier writing. We were amused that he mentioned his own name and book title in the text.
We had a full discussion on this book, and opinions varied from highly appreciative to "so-so". However we agreed that it is well-written, and liked that it is set mostly in NZ and followed "successful" people in our own culture. We thought the multi racial elements were interesting too, but not appreciated by some!
We agreed it needed editing and more work on the crafting, and the first 100 or so pages were hard work - but it improved, and was the source of a lot of discussion about the ideas presented.
Book generated much discussion and varying opinions. Members enjoyed the NZ setting, both the cultural and social environment and the recognisable places. Some group members were uncomfortable with aspects of the content.
An interesting read for only some of us. Many felt the story and writing were disjointed, and that there were gaps in the story.