Juno and Hannah Synopsis
1920, deep in the New Zealand bush, a settlement of Christian fundamentalists live a life of austerity and isolation. It is a place where there is little space for compassion, particularly for the women who can never rid themselves of Eve’s original sin. The elders rule over the women, children and young men, meting out punishments for transgressions as ordinary as self-reflection.
Sisters Juno and Hannah have grown up in the community, but when a stranger washes up on the river bank and Hannah goes to his aid, she finds herself accused of necromancy. The girls flee but are quickly forced to accept help. Hannah, unsure who is friend or foe, finds herself dependent upon and attracted to the man into whose lips she breathed life.
Juno and Hannah is a remarkable novella. The vivid New Zealand landscape reflects the journey of the sisters with its bounty of beauty and resources but also with its scars, wrought during the early days of colonisation. (Spinifex Press)
The Book Beginning is:
Some floods are silent, slow moving, tone deaf to the possibility of fugue and counterpoint. For weeks, the rain had held a polyphonic conversation on the galvanised iron roofs of the settlement. Sometimes the rain sang a lullaby, but when the wind came roaring up the valley pushing a wall of water before it, the roofs reverberated like a kettle drum.
Isn’t this a wonderfully evocative opening! I cannot wait to read more…
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