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The Pounamu Prophecy

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Since she watched her village burn to the ground, Mere's life has been anything but dull. Now as an older woman she has come to stay with Helene and James to finish writing her life story - a tale of injustice, revenge and reconciliation. But Helene and James have their own problems. After five years together, their marriage has become dull, predictable, boring ... and it ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published October 1st 2015 by Rhiza Press
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Dale Harcombe
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Despite the fact that New Zealand is our near neighbour I admit to knowing nothing, before I read this book, about the Bastion Point protests. So that was a learning experience for me. I liked reading Mere’s story which starts back In Okahu Bay, Auckland in 1951. I found much of the time I was more interested in Mere and her New Zealand story that I was in the modern day story of James and Helene. I found them largely aggravating with their outlook of life and how little their marriage meant to ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
James and Helene are both too busy chasing their respective careers (as graphic designer and doctor, respectively) to have time for each other, and after five years, the spark has gone out of their marriage. Mere comes to stay, looking for a quiet place where she can write her memoirs without interruption. Helene especially values Mere’s quiet advice, shared from a place of having come to terms with knowledge, suffering and forgiveness.

The Pounamu Prophecy is a split timeline story. In the prese
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: new-zealand, fiction
I found Cindy Williams' The Pounamu Prophecy was a moving and interesting read.

The book interweaves a parallel narrative that comes together at the end.

Mere is a young Maori girl whose life is changed when the government moves her people out of their homes - burning them to the ground - and into rental state owned housing. She struggles with bitterness and hate as the affects of pakeha encroachment on her tribe's land continues.

Helene and James are a young professional couple, living and work
Paula Vince
Mere is a wise Maori woman who is concentrating on writing her memoir now that her children are all grown up. She has plenty to share, about how she and her tribal family were victims of some corrupt political decisions in New Zealand in the twentieth century. She's staying as the guest of James and Helene, the son and daughter-in-law of an old friend of hers, and discovers their marriage of five years is a bit shaky.

I get James and Helene. Sure, it's easy to tell them to pull themselves togethe
Anne Hamilton
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars.

It's about two-thirds of the way through the novel that the story starts to become truly moving, in every way.

Helene and James are five years into marriage - and it's starting to need serious help. Helene is a doctor and James a graphic designer - each is on the verge of a career-making breakthrough. But each has less and less time for the other. James' idea of a good time is sitting in front of the tv, chilling out and watching the rugby. Helene can't think of anything mo
Jo-Anne Berthelsen
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this debut novel by Cindy Williams, a New Zealand author now residing in Australia, to be a most enjoyable read. I immediately loved the character of Mere, as I read of the traumas she and her people experienced as Maoris in the middle of last century in particular, but also as she impacted the lives of Helene and James, the other main characters in the novel, in the present day. I am in awe of the author for her ability to weave both the story of the Ngati Whatua tribe and also the stor ...more
Sarah Campbell
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2018
I received this book from a goodreads giveaway for an honest review.
Actual rating 2.5.

I felt like this book could have been a lot more than it was. I’d have liked more stories or Mere and a more realistic viewing of Helene and Mere coming together. It also took me a while to get into the book. I found the writing was a little ordinary to start and I was also very frustrated with Helene who expected everyone else to fix everything.
As I read on, I enjoyed the stories of the Maori and would have
Susan Barnes
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
The Pounamu Prophecy cleverly weaves two stories into one. First there is Mere who is a part of the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland. She experienced much abuse and oppression at the hands of the English immigrants. Through the course of the book we hear her story from when she was young until her sixties.

Then there is the story of James and Helene who have been married for five years but their relationship is struggling from the demands of modern life. The overlap of these two stories occurs whe
Sally Flint
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
A very enjoyable read intertwining a classic romance with a really interesting exploration of Maori history. Trough the creation of believable characters, with whom it is impossible to not empathise, the writer shares the losses the Maori people suffered as they lost more and more of the land that rightfully belonged to them and goes on to show how, with at least some success, they fought back. A very readable and accessible book which I raced through.
Kathryn Pulman
Apr 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever discovered that life wasn't all that you thought it would be? Have you ever noticed that things seem to stay the same? Have you ever experienced that nothing good or bad seems to really faze your routine, your stamina, or your work ethic? Have you ever just stopped to think, to wonder, to try something new?

The Pounamu Prophecy is a book that not only captures your mind with the force of rushing river water; but it releases your soul and provides freedom to think. It follows the liv
Oct 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Cindy Williams’ The Pounamu Prophecy is an ambitious historical novel providing insight into the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland, New Zealand.
As a child of the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland, New Zealand, Mere watched her people crumble when their homes destroyed by a merciless white government hell bent on obtaining as much land as possible with little respect for its traditional owners and their culture.
The trauma of losing her home is something that has haunted Mere for many years. Now enteri
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get into this book. I was on the fence about the language used, which is descriptive and on the lyrical side – not my usual fare. But by the time I got to about the fifth chapter I’d gotten used to it, and I think the story settled into itself at this point. It became engaging and easy to read. The titular ‘prophecy’ was not actually a huge part of the book, and only really made an appearance at the end, but the rest of the story builds to it, and is interesting enou ...more
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. It captivated me right away and I learned so much by reading it! I didn't have trouble at all with any words or meanings throughout this book. The author does a fantastic job of writing so whether you are familiar with New Zealand terms or not you know what is going on.

Mere was my favorite character. She really grew throughout the story and I was very impressed by her accomplishments. She was the glue that held the story together so to speak. She was the first charact
Kaye Chalwell
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
How can you forgive someone who has destroyed your way of life? How can you forgive someone when they let you down? How can you forgive someone when their actions cause grief and heartache?
The author, Cindy Williams, takes these questions and addresses them in her book, The Pounamu Prophecy. She uses two interwoven stories: the contemporary story of Helene and James struggling marriage with the history of the Ngati Whatua tribe of Auckland, New Zealand, to help the reader understand what true f
Christine Dillon
Jan 25, 2017 rated it liked it
good to have a book about NZ and about a little known incident.
sue taubman
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Kay Scoble
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Rebekah Fraser
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of dread when I first saw The Pounamu Prophecy. While the landscape was instantly recognizable to me as a New Zealander, the ghostly eyes superimposed in to the sky gave the book a cheesy romance feel. Fortunately, the saying rang true. Beneath the cover, The Pounamu Prophecy is a brilliant story.

Since she watched her village burn to the ground, Mere’s life has been anything but dull. Now as an older woman
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