Chosen by Becks
Two nuns recount their immigration to New Zealand: Olga from her war-torn Dalmatian village and Pualele from Samoa via an illegal family adoption.
➤ “There was something about Rich Man Road that had me captivated early on. Perhaps it was the war theme? (I love a good war story.) Or the Dalmatian landscape? (I have spent time there and it is a captivating coastline). Or the sense of mystery we get in revealing two Nuns’ stories? (Nothing like a good Nun mystery to get those pages turning). Or maybe it was quite simply the brilliant story-telling ability of Ann Glamuzina? Whatever, I loved it. It was not a happy story, at times depressing and saddening, but at its conclusion I was left with a profound sense of optimism and hope. Definitely one of my favourite reads, read at speed and with enthusiasm (a sure sign of something worthwhile).” – Sonya
➤ “This is a sad story of love and loss and an enthralling read. I thought that the Dalmatian and Samoan cultures were portrayed well (from my limited knowledge anyway) and Pualele and Olga were well developed characters. Olga’s emotional estrangement from her mother was incredibly sad to me and so difficult to read about – her mother seemed so cruel. Pualele was often misunderstood which was frustrating and I wanted to shake her into standing up for herself! The vagueness surrounding their tie at the end of the book was frustrating and a little confusing. I enjoyed this book but perhaps not enough to recommend it.” – Jo
➤ “Rich Man Road is a tightly woven story. Of lives intersecting. Of the struggles of impoverished immigrants. Of the desperation to find a place to call home. The characterisation is rich – I remember Olga and Pualele as if they are real people and I worried about them and their plights inbetween reading sessions. Not only were their characters strong but their stories enthralling and woven together like they were, made for a wonderful page-turner. The sense of time and place was well constructed also, leaving me with visual memories of the stories. My only criticisms would be that the introduction of the hidden diary from the outset felt a little to convenient, and I thought the conclusion was too sewn up. But all in all, this is a book that would appeal to a wide range of readers.” – Rachel