REVIEW | A Hibiscus Coast by Nick Mulgrew is a discomforting must-read

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A Hibiscus Coast is Nick Mulgrew's long awaited debut novel. (Painting by Kylie Wentzel)
A Hibiscus Coast is Nick Mulgrew's long awaited debut novel. (Painting by Kylie Wentzel)

Nepukaneha, a Maori elder, living north of Auckland, runs a social club for a few of his people, but has much greater aspirations for the piece of land they rent from the government. He is one of the two main characters in this first novel by Nick Mulgrew (which comes after two collections of short stories and a volume of poetry).  

The other main character is Mary, a teenager in Durban, whose life becomes intertwined with that of Nepukaneha. This story, switching between these two, gets off to a slow start but once Mary is packed off by her anxious white parents, to a new life in New Zealand, it picks up. 

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