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Ribbons of Grace
by Maxine Alterio (Goodreads Author)
Ribbons of Grace is set in Arrowtown, a frontier town with an explosive mix of inhabitants, during the Otago goldrush of the 1860s. It focuses on the love affair between Ming Yuet, a young Chinese woman, and Conran, an Orcadian stonemason. This touching novel opens with Ming Yuet at the graveside of her and Conran's daughter, Fang Yin. She is recounting the stories of thei ...more
Published 2007 by Penguin
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Loved this - NZ author, setting Arrowtown in late 1870's/early 1880's. Basically a love story with a couple of twists. Story told in three voices - a young Chinese gold-miner, a stonemason originally from Orkney, and an English settler's wife. All different backgrounds, living in the same area, and all heavily involved in the plot. That's not giving much away......Definitely worth reading - not sure why this didn't make headlines a few years ago when it was first published.
Initially it took me a while to get into this book as I tended to keep seeing aspects (such as framing and structure) from the short fiction writing course. Tended to see Maxine instead of the book. Had to laugh in one section as there was material clearly from Pamela Wood; (close friend of Maxine) relating to dirt in early Dunedin. By the time I got to the second section spoken in Conran’s voice I was hooked. Wonderful story, tenderly told, very moving. I had to keep reading to find out what ha ...more
I almost gave this 5. I really enjoyed this tale of Ming Yuet, the Chinese girl who went to the goldfields of Arrowtown, disguised as a male. She encounters hardship and prejudice but along the way falls in love with a Scottish stonemason. Written in three parts, with three different narrators. Moving and beautifully crafted.