About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Sea-Wreck Stranger by Anna Mackenzie

The Sea-wreck Stranger (Longacre, 2007)

This is such a gorgeous book simply because of the quality of the writing. The voice of Ness, the teenage protagonist, is lilting and almost 'old world' which is in contrast to the future setting of the story. But this technique works well to depict the culture of her isolated island home where technology is shunned and things from the sea are feared. The islanders farm the land but will not fish the ocean due to a spate of poisonings, years before.
   When Ness discovers a man washed up on the beach she knows she must try to save his life. However the people on her island are not so compassionate and would gladly persecute and kill the newcomer. Ness and her cousins strive to heal and conceal the man in a cave at the shoreline, but things go wrong and his presence is discovered.
   The island in this novel is cold and windswept, nothing like a tropical paradise. The way it is depicted gives the island a feeling of wretchedness and hopelessness, a place Ness desperately needs to escape from.
   This book is so good it won The Sir Julius Vogel Award and The NZ Post Honour Award. It's well worth reading especially if you like speculative fiction.

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