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Description - Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite

Love, life, families...Tahitian style! Materena Mahi, champion professional cleaner and best listener in all of Tahiti, is usually the one solving the problems. But right now she's that close to throwing her daughter Leilani into the street. 'It doesn't matter what I do,' she confides to Mama Teta, to Cousin Rita, to Mama Loana and to the Virgin Mary Understanding Woman, 'it's always the wrong thing. I'm going taravana!' And if that wasn't enough there's a boy on the horizon. Or so the relatives are saying. When everything around her is changing, and the traditional Tahitian rules no longer seem to be enough, Materena realises it's going to take more than the Welcome into Womanhood talk to deal with the next generation of Mahi women...

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099490081
ISBN-10: 0099490080
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 22mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Arrow Books Ltd
Publisher: Cornerstone
Publish Date: 1-Jul-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Reviews - Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite

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Book Review: Frangipani by Celestine Hitiura Vaite - Reviewed by (18 Nov 2013)

Frangipani is the second novel by Tahitian author, Celestine Hitiura Vaite and the second book in the Materena Mahi series. Materena is a champion professional cleaner whose forte is her discretion. This instalment describes the highlights (and lowlights) of Materena’s life from her twenties to her forties, in a series of vignettes of everyday Tahitian life. Vaite includes many traditional Tahitian rules in the form of Materena’s Welcome to the World and Welcome to Womanhood for her daughter, Leilani. Much of the advice is practical and wise; some of it pointless and baseless if, nonetheless, amusing. Secrets for the grave are explained; confessional detectives feature; words that can cut you are elucidated. Materena’s Rules for Being a Visitor, when her son Tomatua goes overseas, are both sage and sensible. With the support of family and friends, Materena goes from professional cleaner to a position where she can facilitate women to help, warn and encourage other women. Vaite’s personal experience is obviously drawn on for this uplifting novel which was shortlisted for the 2005 NSW Premier's Literary Awards and longlisted for the 2006 Orange Prize. Funny and inspirational.


Author Biography - Celestine Hitiura Vaite

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.

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