A novel of racism and secrecy, romance and redemption - it deftly weaves around you as you sink deep and effortlessly into life in New Zealand in the 1950s.
Once it had been a Maori meeting house proudly battling against the elements. But the young people had gone to the city long ago, and the elements had won.
The roof had collapsed, rotting rafters fell inside, across the gaping windows. The once beautiful wall panels, intricately woven patterns of dried reeds and threads of flax, were torn and broken; hung now precariously, drifted in the wind like old, brown lace.
Sometimes, still, the men went fishing, looked back from the sea at the few shacks left standing along the coast.
The old meeting house stood silhouetted against
the sky; they looked back from the wild sea at the ruin of their past.