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Book: Bend With The Wind by Suraya Dewing

Book Review: Bend With The Wind by Suraya Dewing

categories: Book, Protest, Love Story, History, Conflict, Battle, Church, Injured, Fear, Peaceful, Contemporary, Historical, New Zealand, Civil Rights, Historical Novel

Suraya Dewing

Author Suraya Dewingabout this book: 'Bend with the Wind' is a contemporary and historical novel covering three time periods - present, 1981, 1881 based on true events using fictional characters. In 1981 unprecedented civil unrest broke out in New Zealand over a tour by the African Springbok rugby team. Two people get caught up in this. Sophie is a student protestor, incensed by the injustice of apartheid. Joe, a policeman, is responsible for keeping the peace while not agreeing with the Tour. New Zealand has its own violent racial history harking back to 1881 when the settler constabulary violently occupied Parihaka, a village practising peaceful resistance to the loss of their land. The village is pillaged and razed leaving its people impoverished. Unknown to her, Sophie's wealthy forbears made all their money from the subsequently confiscated land.

There is intense opposition to their forming a relationship. However, they do and they discover the deadly aftermath that lingers on for over thirty years.

Readers say they can't put it down once they start reading. It is an absorbing read and enjoyable but also challenging.

It took me three years to write it. I started it as my thesis for my master of Creative Writing. It has been professionally edited and I've written at least 15 drafts.

The hardest part of writing was to find the balance where I included enough detail so that people understood what I was saying but not giving so much detail I was giving a history lesson.

I learnt the importance of proof reading, understanding where the true story is and connecting events.

I want to say to my readers: enjoy, be inspired, love like Sophie and Joe did.

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 A Lovely Romance Interwoven With History

Bend with the Wind is a marvelous read for those readers who are looking for a lovely romance interwoven with history. Suraya Dewing artistically sets her novel against backdrop of a historical event: Springbok tour (also known as Rebel tour) to tell a very delightful interracial love story. Sophie, daughter of a British family in NZ, falls in love with, Joe, a Maori policeman who is also a musician. As a university student, she courageously wants to learn about other cultures, marry someone she loves and take part in protests against the injustices.

The chemistry between Sophie and Joe is shown very well from the very early chapters and the novel subtly depicts how love transcends all the racial and social differences. I very much enjoyed the characterization of the two main characters who try to save their love from prejudices and misunderstandings.

Bend with the Wind is a brilliantly written novel which takes us to Parihaka and other NZ scenery through vivid descriptions. Suraya impressively introduces us to Maori culture and NZ history through the story of Sophie and Joe. The usage of Maori language in some chapters enriches the story and creates authenticity.

Tolerance towards different cultures is at the core of this novel and is depicted as a necessity in every multicultural society.

5 out of 5 stars and look forward to reading Suraya Dewing's next novel. [by Azadeh Nafissi]

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