My first book in the Book Bingo Challenge called for a fiction written by a New Zealand author. I’ve read, albeit years ago, ‘The Bone People’ by Keri Hulme and the odd Alan Duff book etc but books written by New Zealand authors aren’t usually something I’d go for. I initially had intended to read ‘Whale Rider’ but this was already on loan to a borrower, so I settled for ‘Whanau’ by Witi Ihimaera instead – to be honest, what really cinched it was the book is only 174 pages long!
Once I got over having to read a fiction book, pae kare! I actually started to enjoy ‘Whanau’ a story based on the Whanau A Kai of Waituhi village. It tells the tale of the many characters living in the village and their relationship to it.
Some of the younger members of the whanau want to leave it to head to the bright lights of the city and others feel a connection to their whenua. But when 8 year old Pene goes missing with the Kaumatua of the village, his Nanny Paora, the whole village unites in the search for the pair.
Whanau by Witi Ihimaera is available from Thames Library. You can place it on reserve here.