Fence's Reviews > Where We Once Belonged

Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel
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Jul 01, 10

bookshelves: fiction, favourites
Read in October, 2005

et in Samoa where we once belonged is the coming of age story of Alofa, a 13 year old girl growing up in the village of Malaefou. I wrote my final year English essay on this, and Perception of Polynesia in literature, so you’d think I would have remembered it. Well, most parts I did, but there were some I didn’t.

Alofa is our narrator, we see life through her eyes. But there are also songs and poems blended in, a mix of Samoan myth and legend. Allowing us a glimpse into life for Samoa. A life where

“I”does not exist. I am not. My self belongs not to me because “I” is always “we”, is a part of the “aiga” a part of the nu’u, a part of Samoa

Alofa’s story reveals that the easy-going tropical paradise much loved in Western stereotypes does not exist. Instead we see violence and ignorance as well as love and beauty. where we once belonged is a great read.
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