Book Reviews – Harbouring

by Jenny Pattrick

This is a fabulous book set in the 1830s. it is the story of the settling of Wellington by immigrants and the story is told from three perspectives. First is Huw Pengellin, who has come to New Zealand from Wales. Huw works for Colonel Wakefield as his procurer and buys and looks after all the items Wakefield plans to use to buy/steal land from “the natives”. Secondly, we hear from Hineroa, who has lost her family and tribe in battle and has been taken as a slave by Te Rauparaha. The third narrator is Huw’s Welsh wife Martha who tells her story as she journeys with her young son to meet up with Huw on the other side of the world. Jenny Pattrick is deft at creating warm and likeable characters and this, along with the interesting historical narrative, means this novel is a joy to read. Pattrick has woven her fictional characters through with historically factual people and events. Wellington, Kapiti Coast and Nelson are all rich with Maori history and it was fascinating to read about how these areas were colonised by Wakefield’s New Zealand Company. Loved it.