7 - 11 March
(Rhiza Press, 1 October 2015)
About the Book:
Since she watched her village burn to the ground, Mere’s life has been anything but dull. Now as an older woman she has come to stay with Helene and James to finish writing her life story – a tale of injustice, revenge and
But Helene and James have their own problems. After five years together, their marriage has become dull, predictable, boring … and it starts to unravel.
Weaving fiction with the traumatic history of the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland, The Pounamu Prophecy sweeps from the sultry heat of Australia to the verdant shores of New Zealand.
About the Author
Cindy Williams lives in Sydney with her husband and teenage son.
As a child growing up in a culturally rich part of New Zealand she enjoyed writing, not copious screeds, but short intense pieces that brought tears to her eyes and made people think. She marvelled at the power of words to inspire far beyond the intentions of the author.
Then she became a dietitian – all science and seriously researched facts. She completed a Master of Public Health and a Graduate Diploma in Communication and spent many years encouraging and inspiring people to live a healthy life.
She writes a nutrition blog – www.nutritionchic.com – and is working on her second novel, set in first century Israel. She teaches scripture in schools, and swim and cycles. She is also studying for a Diploma of Theology and trying to improve her abysmal French!
Despite the fact that New Zealand is our near neighbour I admit to knowing nothing, before I read this book, about the Bastion Point protests. So that was a learning experience for me. I liked reading Mere’s story which starts back In Okahu Bay, Auckland in 1951. I found much of the time I was more interested in Mere and her New Zealand story that I was in the modern day story of James and Helene. I found them largely aggravating with their outlook of life and how little their marriage meant to them that they could contemplate endangering it so easily. That I wanted to knock their heads together and tell them to ‘wake up’ to themselves, shows that they came across as believable and indicative of some people in today’s world.
The story gathered momentum after the lives of James and Helene interact more with Mere, after she comes to stay in the guest house on their property. Mere is lovely and it is very easy to warm to her. She is full of hard won wisdom. So is her friend Liz who says about the past and her father’s attitude to the hurt done to their family, ’I eventually realised Dad’s way was right. If I held onto my anger it would paralyse my life. He always said that we can’t control what happens but we can control how we react to it.’ They sound like wise words to me.
I was given this book free of charge by the publishers in return for an honest review. This is a book that shows how the past and dreams can shape lives, but that ultimately each of us has a choice about what is important to us and how we deal with those. It evoked anger in me and tears at times. But overall I enjoyed reading this book, learning more about New Zealand history, the Maori people and their customs and how one or two people can impact many lives.