Frangipani by  Celestine Hitiura Vaite


Celestine Hitiura Vaite

This is an acutely observed, funny, warm hug of a book and a real celebration of women's relationships - especially that between mother and daughter. You will fall in love with Materena and Leilani as they battle their way through Leilani's teenage years. And also feel deeply for Materena as the traditional Tahiti way of life she holds so dear, clashes with her urge to ensure her clever daughter has access to every opportunity she deserves.


'... This is my husband and me when we got married six months ago ... with our beautiful children.'

 'Is it custom to marry late in Tahiti?'

 'Oh, oui and non,' replies Materena. 'In Tahiti we believe it's unwise to marry before-'

 'Men don't like to get married in Tahiti. They always give women excuses and they're lazy.'

 Again, Materena gives her big-mouth daughter a discreet look to be quiet.

 'And is that you?' the woman asks Leilani, pointing at a framed newspaper clip.

 'Oui, that's my girl,' Materena sighs with pride. 'It was after a running competition. She came fiftieth but there were thousands of competitors.'

 'One hundred and twenty, Mamie.'



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