Popsugar Reading Challenge 2022 Book 32

This is a category that I had no idea which book to pick. Luckily the Popsugar Goodreads group is a fantastic source of inspiration and there were stack of great books being shared and recommended. I chose Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite.

What it’s about?

In Tahiti, it’s a well-known fact that women are wisest, mothers know best, and Materena Mahi knows best of all—or so everyone except for her own daughter thinks. Soon enough, mother and daughter are engaged in a tug-of-war that tests the bonds of their love.

What I think:

This was such a good read.

It features great characters that develop throughout the book and strong female relationships.

Materena is a teenager mother she has a baby son and soon finds herself pregnant again. She wants to create a nice home for her family and needs to make sure that her children’s father provides and to do that needs to make sure she receives his wages rather than him spending them in a bar.

The conflict between the young couple and the way the community support them was really interesting and a glimpse into Tahitian culture.

The book focuses in the relationship between Materena and her children – looking at the different expectations she has of the boys and girls and the role that sex plays in relationships.

This is a lighthearted read with lots of humour. The plot is slim as the story focuses on characters and relationships. The position of Tahiti as a French colony and the influence of French culture is touched on, as well as the misogyny and expectations of women.

The descriptions of life in Tahiti, its culture and the importance of trees and plants was beautifully written.

I liked the character of Materena – she is resilient and takes pride in her work as a cleaner and the service she provides at the same time as having higher aspirations for her daughter.

Overall, this was a quick and compelling read by a writer I would probably not have discovered if it wasn’t for this challenge.

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