Maurice Gee is so enjoyable to read! He’s a New Zealand author of renown and every time I read him I’m reminded of how well he crafts his stories. This one is set in New Zealand. Be warned, any expat reading this overseas will get on the next plane for NZ for sure!
Gee can describe NZ and it’s inhabitants with amazing effortlessness and we get drawn into the story, the landscape and enveloped by his imagination.
Here we have the story of Ellie, growing up in a boarding house, bottom of the social strata. We get parts of her life, every few pages/chapters is a new era. We see her grow up, her relationships develop and the Shadow Man shadows her through the years.
Ellie becomes a fruit picker in Nelson, meets some artists and then becomes one herself. Her emergence as an artist and as a person are beautifully drawn. Gee is a great author for telling a story simply, getting us to engage with and love his characters.
His other books are well worth a read too.