Charlie Tangaroa is not defined by his disability, he is not defined by his place in the world, he defines himself through his family. This is a book that has so many themes that resonate in today’s culture. Disability, whanaungatanga, Charlie’s whakapapa, the environment – all are all dealt with a sure hand, and a gentle heart. Charlie’s fractured family is reflected in the warring brothers, and we are taken along at pace, with assured handling, and although so many issues are raised, they are never shoved in the reader’s face – rather they are presented as they are, as just another step in Charlie’s journey.
This is a uniquely New Zealand story, and one in which so many of us can see ourselves.