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Book Review: Rich Man Road by Ann Glamuzina


Rich Man Road by Ann Glamuzina

This debut novel is beautifully written and is the interconnecting stories of two women immigrants to New Zealand. Olga has come to New Zealand from a small Dalmatian village. As a young teenager in 1944, she allow an untrue rumour to circulate in her village with terrible repercussions. With her mother and brother she escaped to the refugee camps of Egypt, but her life would never be the same again, even with a fresh start in New Zealand.

Nine-year-old Pualele arrives in New Zealand in 1978 from Samoa, illegally adopted by an aunty. She yearns to be back with her mother, and it is time that is very frightening as the police conduct dawn raids on Pacific Islanders. Things become even more sinister when the local funeral director takes an interest in her.

Rich Man Road moves seamlessly back in forth in time, the story alternating from Olga’s first person account of her life as written in her journal, to Pualele’s third person story. Exploring immigration, displacement, and alienation – the question is will Olga and Pualele ever find where they truly belong? Ann Glamuzina is a talented novelist, definitely a writer to take note of.

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