Sons for the Return Home by Albert Wendt – Book Review *Slight spoiler*

This is the autobiographical story of Albert Wendt whose family moved from Samoa to New Zealand when he was a child. As a young man, he is trying to find is place in a world that’s not quite his.

While story feels very much of the sixties/seventies, it could easily be today, though hopefully some of the attitudes have changed. There is also the problematic issue that there is some domestic violence in this and it just kind of gets skated over. It’s a tricky one, because my expectation is that if this type of thing happens, there should be some kind of, I don’t know, at least regret. But here it happens and life goes on, and that’s a bit difficult. And of course something written twenty years ago shouldn’t be changed to today’s expectations, but it can be a bit hard to take.

Generally, the book is beautiful and heartbreaking and poetic. And given that I don’t think any of the characters were given names, at no time was I confused about who was being written about or what was happening.

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