Posted on Friday, August 10, 2012 by GoddessDivine
Season of the Jew This fictionalized account of the Te Kuti uprising, set roughly in 1850-60, is not a fast read but is a compelling view of colonial New Zealand.
The protagonist, George Fairweather, is a soldier in Her Majesty's army fighting the Maori. He rapidly becomes disillusioned with the colonists' greed for land, and quits the army to drift around New Zealand doing odd jobs and selling his paintings. He falls for a half-Maori woman and settles near Poverty Bay, only to get sucked into the colonists' militia as they rally to fight Te Kooti.
I think the protagonist is a little too modern for the period, but that's my only complaint. Otherwise Shadbolt does a good job of depicting both Maoris and colonists as human beings; everyone involved is caught in a Catch-22 dilemma.