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INTRODUCING CELESTINE HITIURA VAITE - AN IRRESITIBLE TAHITIAN STORYTELLER TO RIVAL ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH Frangipani was longlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize "What a gorgeous, evocative novel! It charmed me from beginning to end." - Sophie Kinsella
Celestine Hitiura Vaite was born in Tahiti. The daughter of a Tahitian mother and a French father who went back to his country after military service, she grew up in her big extended family in Faa'a-Tahiti, where storytelling was part of the every day life and women overcame obstacles with gusto and humour. Frangipani was also shortlisted for the 2005 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Celestine now lives with her family on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia.
Materena is a professional cleaner and the only relative who is nice to everybody. She is a woman with knowledge of the old Tahitian ways, as well as practical knowledge of modern life. She knows how to have the ‘becoming a woman’ talk with her daughter, including the warning that washing your hair when you have your period will make the blood turn to ice. Frangipani is the story of Materena’s life and her relationship with her daughter, Leilani. It is an ordinary kind of life—fighting with her husband, having children and watching them grow into adults and away from the family home, and exchanging gossip outside the Chinese shop. It is a life of joy, heartache and secrets for the grave. It is a story told in charming episodes, brimming with the wisdom of a strong Tahitian cultural history. Frangipani is written in gently accented English. It is a style that transports the reader to a land rich in breadfruit and traditional stories. Celestine Hitiura Vaite’s follow-up to her first novel, Breadfruit, celebrates family, love, parenting, and the strength of women of every generation. Frangipani is a great summer read, perfect for lying on a beach drinking coconut juice. Krissy Kneen is a writer and bookseller at Avid Reader bookshop in Brisbane’s West End C. 2004 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
"A feast ... bursting with vitality and charm" * Sydney Morning Herald * "A fond evocation of Tahitian life. Vaite now lives far from her homeland ... but with Frangipani she conjures up more than a taste of her island upbringing" * Vogue (Australia) * "A funny, heartfelt portrait of a mother-daughter relationship" * Marie Claire * "A memorable story about big dreams on a small island" * Kirkus Reviews * "Charming ... This story of love, gossip and growing up (even at 40) has all the irresistible freshness of a warm breeze." * Publishers Weekly *