[Dan’s] back was to the light and Theresa couldn’t read his face. He said, ‘Look, it’s good that you’re so staunch. And I know that you, more than anyone else here, can imagine how the authorities are going to go about handling something like this. But don’t you think they’re being extra harsh?’He took a deep breath and went on. ‘Either things don’t work the way I think they do, or – well, like, in the Wahine disaster, they always talk about how people broke the police cordon to jump into the waves and haul the lifeboats out of the surf at Eastbourne beach. Ordinary people, with stacks of blankets, and thermoses full of soup. Everyone soaking wet and cold, and doing their best. Wahine wasn’t that long ago. We aren’t that different. New Zealand isn’t that different. How come this disaster has been taken out of the hands of the ordinary people who just turn up to help?’‘There are the bottles.’‘That’s mostly Oscar’s mum and dad and some bloke who can’t bear to think we don’t know what bloggers are saying about us.’
But this isn't a review, and I don't want to risk spoilers.
Wake comes from the stable of Victoria University Press which had a stunning 2013: Wake, Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries (2013 Man Booker winner and a fine book), plus a fascinating novel for a New Zealand publishing house, John Sinclair's The Phoenix Song; a novel which starts in Mao's revolutionary China, and ends in New Zealand. I read it earlier this year when distracted by too much of life and earning an income, so hope to read again in order I can review at a future date. But for those who enjoy thinking about political content, you need to put The Phoenix Song on your list.