Book Reviews – Poor People with Money

Poor People with Money by Dominic Hoey

I loved this raw Kiwi novel that has love and whanau at its heart. Our main flawed protagonist is Monday Wooldridge, who works nights at a seedy bar, spends her days training for kickboxing tournaments, and talking to her younger brother Eddy, who disappeared 15 years earlier. In an effort to make some money, Monday talks her reluctant flatmate JJ into ordering drugs online that she then sells from the bar. When the local heavies move in, Monday and JJ head north to JJ’s hometown, described as ‘the village so small it is not on most maps’. However, it’s hard to stay hidden when your face looks like a broken dinner plate. Dominic Hoey is an award-winning poet and playwright and he showcases beautifully what it means to be poor and struggling, doing whatever you can do to get ahead. This novel captures the heart and soul of a part of New Zealand that we don’t often acknowledge.