Wine and Book Pairing
Twenty years in the writing, ”The Bone People” was turned down by virtually every major New Zealand publisher. The book won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction, the Mobil Pegasus Prize for Maori Literature and Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize in 1985. An unusual story of love. It is brutal, touching, emotionally complex, and above all captivating. A powerful read, and perhaps an exhausting read. I recommend it.
Set in a rural town along the coast of the North Island of New Zealand, The Bone People follows three main characters—Joe, a Maori man; Kerewin, a part-Maori woman; and Simon, a child of European heritage. The three are first brought together when Simon, after injuring his foot while playing truant, sneaks into Kerewin’s house-tower. A mute child of indeterminate age (Kerewin guesses somewhere between five and seven), Simon wears a pendant stamped with his name and address, and is able to communicate via hand gestures and writing. Inclined at first to throw him out, a sudden storm softens Kerewin’s heart, and she ends up allowing him to stay while she attempts to reach his family. The local telephone operator tells Kerewin that Simon’s father is “a nice bloke” but “won’t be home till late. … If he gets home, that is” (the suggestion being that he’s out drinking). As Simon’s other relatives are also unavailable, the operator suggests Kerewin call the police if she wants to be rid of the child right away: “They know what to do….” Despite her professed desire for isolation, Kerewin lets the child stay. There is something about him she likes.
”The Bone People” is most effective when it is not trying to address large social and spiritual questions, but when it is simply chronicling the complicated relationships that develop among three outcasts brought together by chance: Kerewin, a painter, who leads a hermetic, solitary life, convinced that art, not people, is sufficient to sustain her and that friendships can only lead to pain; Simon, a mute child of 6, who apparently has suffered some terrible wound in the past, and his adoptive father, Joe, a laborer with a nasty temper.
Toscana , Mosdus Ruffino – Italy
A blend casually known as a “Super Tuscan”. This combo of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot is delectable. Medium-bodied, with enticing aromas and flavours.
Cabernet Sauvignon , Edge Winery , Alexander Valley – California
Edge is a big, lush, complex Cabernet Sauvignon produced from grapes which were carefully selected from the great old vineyards in the heart of Napa Valley. Simply a delicious wine.
Chenin Blanc , V & T Careme Terre Brulée , Swartland – South Africa
It is produced from 40 years-old plus vines and making great wine as a result. Impressive white, delightful, nicely balanced with a zippy mineral finish.
Happy Reading while Swirling!