Nation Roughcut – 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
How do you rebuild a "nation" from but one survivor? The wave that destroyed so many communities left a tithe of survivors from other islands. In small groups, they begin to accumulate on Mau's island, forcing him - at thirteen years - to become the new "chief". He has already coped with the job of burying his relatives and other members of his nation. Even that propitiating task doesn't seem to quell the demands of The Grandfathers who visit him in dreams and visions. They express unfulfilled needs which he cannot comprehend. One of the refugees Mau must deal with is a Ataba, a priest who had trained on Mau's island. Ataba knows about the gods - and the white god anchors - which are to be kept nearby and bring good luck to the people of the Nation. This idea eludes Mau who wants to know which god brought the Great Wave and why he should be thankful for it.
Another of the wave's spared tithes is "Daphne", the sole survivor of the shipwreck. She's an Unbaked One from a distant land, daughter of one of the "trousermen".Read more ›
Nation was an enjoyable read from start to finish. It's a book that presents thinking in an intelligent and wonderful way and messes with the perception of meaning, right, and wrong. It's a culture clash seen from both ends, and by the end you can't help but see both sides as right, wrong, and foolish at the same time. It challenges faith, ignorance, history, culture, and a whole host of other issues in such pleasant ways that you could have spent the last 50 pages being preached at and you'd have enjoyed every word of it!
Now that takes skill!
The final chapter (or epilogue, depending on how you really want to look at it) was quite powerful to me, as it expressed how an entire culture can not only be remade, but made in the first place, by chance encounters, and that the smallest things have the biggest consequences.
I think that if more young people read books like this, they'd enjoy reading more in general.
Daphne finds herself the lone survivor when the ship she was traveling on crashes into Mau's island on the same wave. With little to guide her but her grandmother's training for high society, she isn't sure whether to approach Mau as a potential friend or foe.
As other survivors gather on the island, Mau and Daphne form a bond and work to create a society that's all their own. Mau begins to believe in himself despite his fear that he lacks a soul. Daphne realizes there are far more important things than propriety.
But when all they've gained is threatened by an outside enemy, will their makeshift community be able to hold steady?
NATION has everything you could ask for in a novel. Its dramatic scenes are both poignant and moving, with Pratchettt's customary humor keeping the proceedings from straying into melodrama. Both main characters are distinctive, and it's a pleasure watching them come into their own throughout the story. The villains are suitably creepy and brutal. Little details of the setting and cultures make it all feel so real.
Highly recommended to both teens and adults.
Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
Most recent customer reviews
A fantastic book to while a summer week with. A light, beautiful book with a heart tugging ending that is not sad at all.Published on June 15 2011 by T. Kharitonova
Wonderful! I began reading Terry Pratchett almost twenty years ago when I made the foolish decision to go on a tour of Europe with my friends and without any books. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2011 by Kaija
I haven't met a Terry Pratchett book that I didn't like. That said, some are better than others. This is among the best, right up there with Small Gods.Published on June 7 2010 by M. Loughin