Just received – a review of Seventeen Seas –
“Seventeen Seas” by Bronwyn Elsmore
A Review by Richard Prevett
Seventeen Seas is a story full of sly humour, subtle references, shrewd observations and fascinating detail. The author cannot really hide behind “Any resemblance between the characters and actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental”. In fact that last word should be changed to “deliberate” to acknowledge the authenticity of the people featuring in this book.
This “creative non-fiction” work is a documentary that entertains, a geography lesson that inspires, and a history lesson that educates. The descriptions of social behaviour make us nod in enthusiastic agreement but it is also a telling commentary on how New Zealanders view other cultures. Their reactions to the strange behaviour of humans from the North is a mixture of tolerance, bewilderment and perhaps a hint of superiority.
So do not be fooled by the apparent calm seas. Look beneath the surface and enjoy the subtext.