Set in the NZ bush post-WW1, we meet Hannah and her unusual little sister, Juno. Living in some kind of religious commune, it’s obvious that the girls don’t fit in, that there’s more than just something a little odd about Juno and that the mysterious stranger that Hannah saves from the flooded river is just the beginning of a much larger story that will sweep the girls away from the all that they have known of late.
A scary prospect for Juno, Hannah can’t help but wonder if she’ll finally get answers to the questions she has about her mother. Are they memories? Dreams? Why won’t anyone tell her why she and her sister ARE at the commune? And why all of a sudden is Juno such a problem?
This true slice of Kiwi gothic will get inside your head and stay with you long after the last page has been read. Cleverly combining aspects of Maori spirituality with tales of early settlers woven through with the horrifying aspects of the early eugenics movement, Juno & Hannah reminds us once again why Beryl Fletcher was the recipient of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book back in 1992. Short at just 170 pages, a wee gem to add to your book shelf or to gift to the book lover in your life
Reviewed by Sarah McMullan
Juno & Hannah
by Beryl Fletcher
Published by Spinifex Press