Wednesday, 21 September 2016
The Last Time We Spoke by Fiona Sussman
Fiona Sussman is a family doctor and writer, formerly from South Africa, who now lives in New Zealand.
The Last Time We Spoke is about the aftermath of a violent home invasion; and is set in New Zealand.
Two babies are born; Jack into a loving comfortably-off farming family; Ben into an unstable gang environment. Years later they meet when Ben and his friend attempt to burgle Jack's family home as part of a gang initiation.
The story then follows the life of Jack's mother Carla, as she struggles to deal with on-going trauma following the incident; as well as Ben's life in prison.
Parts of this novel are reminiscent of Alan Duff's Once were Warriors and One Night out Stealing;
Sussman draws her charactors very well and and shows perhaps a different perspective as an immigrant to New Zealand. I wasn't sure about the Maori God narrative and historical context at the end of some chapters, and felt this could have been integrated into the novel in a different way.
An interesting read.
Reviewed by Katrina
Catalogue link: The Last Time We Spoke