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Tu A NovelBy Patricia GraceReview by Evie Lamb 9DUNTu is written by award winning kiwi author Patricia Grace, when she was 7 her father joined the 28th Maori battalion.Tu is about three men from one family, but only one returned, who go to fight for the Maori battalion in Italy during WWII When his young niece and nephew come to find out what happened, Tu has to recount what really happened when they fought in the valleys of Italy, written in his beloved war journal I decided to read Tu because my babysitter lent the book to me saying I would enjoy it, and because it has a different style of writing compared to other books I have read.I enjoyed reading Tu because of the in depth look to what life was like during the war, not just in Italy, but also in Wellington I didn t like how the chapters were in different times one chapter he s talking about the battlefront and the next he would be talking about life in Wellington It took me a while to figure out what was going on, but once I got my head around it, I really enjoyed reading it I also didn t enjoy some parts where it felt like she dragged on, making certain paragraphs boring to read.I found Tu an interesting character as you listen to him recounting his story, and his point of view Tu made me think deeply about life during the war and how difficult it must of been, reading Tu made me feel grateful fortune life I have.Overall, I really enjoyed reading Tu, and would recommend it if you like reading war novels. (((READ KINDLE))) ☠ Tu ⇹ In This New Novel Acclaimed Maori Novelist Patricia Grace Visits The Often Terrifying And Complex World Faced By Men Of The Maori Battalion In Italy During World War II Tu Is Proud Of His Name The Maori God Of War But For The Returned Soldier There S A Shadow Over His Own War Experience In Italy Three Brothers Went To War, But Only One Returned Tu Is The Sole Survivor Patricia Grace Has Drawn On The War Experiences Of Her Father And Other Relatives And Ventured Into New Territory By Writing About The World Of War And Soldiers The Result Is A Novel Of Great Authenticity And High Drama From One Of The Pacific S Finest Story Tellers .. 3.5 starsThis account of the Maori Battalion in Italy is well written and constructed and I liked very much that it was presented as a diary memoir written at the time but being addressed by the next generation with the survivor I just somehow never properly engaged with the book I have no idea why perhaps I just wasn t in a reading mood Last time that happened I was approximately 2 years old So, a good book, well constructed and a believable account of wartime experience As New Zealand authors go, this was one of the better books I have read. Te Hokowhitu a Tu is named after the Maori god of war, and thus it makes sense that he follows his brothers Pita and Rangi into the midst of WWII and joins the Maori Battalion His story begins with a letter, and with enclosed journal entries from overseas, and there are details in them that none of us ever speak about 12 In many senses, this story could belong to any solider of WWII Yet this story is uniquely different, as it follows three brothers and uncovers deeper secrets than those harbored in the war When Tu s family relocates to Wellington, they plan that Tu will be the brother that goes off to school and takes on the task of being a lawyer they ve put their hopes in him It is already clear that Pita and Rangi are going to join the war efforts, and thus is becomes even significant for Tu to remain at home with his mother and sisters Yet, Tu wrote that At seventeen I just didn t want to be a boy any longer and felt a need to break out of the family protection that has always coated me 25 There are many Maori men and youths that joined in the war effort, and because casualties have been extremely high and replacements are needed recruiters were signing the Maori up at high numbers, even without proof of age 33 Even though there were cases where younger brothers could be sent home in cases where they are than two from the same family, Tu himself talks about knowing of where there were five but three have died already 35 Undoubtedly, the conditions of WWII were awful, but the one thing the brothers have going for them is that they all found each other, at one point, in the same company They also meet up with several cousins and other important Maori chiefs There are many culturally specific moments in the text, including the art of the taiaha, that are discussed and add unique dimensions to the story The authenticity is something Patricia Grace should be praised for, and in a bleak novel about war, it is good to see some of the positive attributes of Maori culture shining through The chiefs Hemi and Gary are seen carving into their rifles, as well as painting their faces, with ornate Maori art They are also seen showing traditional warriorhood We heard him shout, telling us to charge saw the arms splayed, the dropped tongue, the whites of eyes as we burst out from the room at a crouching run, firing our guns and making as much noise as we could 193 Hoki atu ra is also talked about in terms of giving you leave so you can march out and go off to join the ancestors in that other dimension 203 Yet, be warned that like most novels about war, there will be many characters that you connect with on various levels that are killed Three notable deaths are view spoiler one of the chiefs, Pita, and Rangi hide spoiler Tu relates the experiences of three brothers who join the Maori Battalion in World War II and end up fighting together in a nightmarish campaign in Italy In some ways it s a typical horrors of war story But it is couched in an exploration of the Maori people s struggle to find a place in 20th century New Zealand.The story is told in a largely non linear fashion, interspersing Tu s memories and diary entries from the war with third person narration of the family s pre war life in Wellington Grace uses the different settings as foils for each other, so that we can see the differences in the brothers attitudes to war echoed in their experiences in the city, and especially in the different ways in which they relate to a white woman, Jess, who becomes a key figure in all of their lives Sometimes this juxtaposition is handled deftly than others though the backstory feels crucial, it is not as engaging as the war scenes The Wellington scenes sometimes feel like a lot of set up that could have been either shorter or exciting or, possibly, both.But it s a really good book The research is meticulous and well incorporated, and the story itself is deeply affecting I didn t even know about the existence of the Maori Battalion before I picked up this book, and I finished it feeling heartbroken and outraged and wanting to learn Highly recommended for all readers.This review has been condensed from a longer review that I published on my blog, Around the World in 2000 Books. Tu is the sixth novel of M ori author Patricia Grace, and it s quite different to her other novels I ve read, which have all been firmly grounded in New Zealand It s the story of three brothers who go away to war, and of a girl who matters to all of them.Most of the novel is narrated by Tu, responding in his later years to the questions of his nephews Rimini and Benedict The novel is bookended by his letters to them, with his war diary set in Italy in between, along with the back story of his brother Pita in New Zealand.Tu is much younger than his brothers Pita and Rangi, and he bears the burden of being the chosen one When their father returned from WW1 he was a damaged man, and his violence blighted their youth Pita stayed home from school to protect his mother, making his employment prospects even difficult in a society where discrimination against the M ori was the norm Quiet, thoughtful and an intensely private man, Pita is nothing like his knockabout brother Rangi, but both of them are determined that Tu will win a native scholarship, get an education and become the hope of the family This sense of family responsibility amongst the M ori is a motif which recurs after their father dies and the family moves to Wellington the boys share their earnings to augment their mother s war widows pension, a pension which was inexplicably half the amount paid to Pakeha women.To read the rest of my review please visit This book broke my heart Tu, Pita and Rangi are brothers who join the Maori Battalion during WWII and end up fighting mostly in Italy, which I think is where a lot of New Zealand soldiers saw most of their action although one of my grandfathers spent most of the war in the Solomon Islands which I think was even godawful than the war in Europe Tu explores the experience of army life as well as the family s life before the war the damaged father who never recovered from the trauma of World War 1, Pita s experience as the oldest child responsible for protecting his mother and siblings from his father, the family s decision to leave Taranaki and move to Wellington to seek out a better life At first, the switches in perspective between Tu, the happy go lucky youngest brother, and Pita, the reserved, angry brother, are jarring, but as you get used to them, each begins to feed into the other so that you have a much richer understanding of the boys reasons for going to war and their experiences of it I loved being reminded that many Maori joined up partly as a way to prove to Pakeha white New Zealanders that they, too, wanted to serve their country Grace captures the stoic male New Zealand voice perfectly in Tu s diary sections it reminded me of my grandfather, although he wasn t Maori I don t know how easy this would be to read if you weren t a New Zealander there are a few passages in Maori, and some of the cultural context might be a bit mystifying if you don t know anything about NZ history, but I would recommend giving it a try anyway. Honestly, I don t have a lot to say about this book I didn t love it, I didn t hate it It was just okay Up until about 60% of the way through, it held very little interest for me Even though half of it was written in diary form, I still felt as though I barely knew any of the characters As for the plot, I ve never read a war novel, but I certainly expected it to be a bit gripping Tu, the author of the diary, says at the end that he mostly wrote while he was waiting or resting, basically just sitting around and really, that s sometimes all I felt like I was reading about I don t think Patricia Grace conveyed the action or horror of war in a compelling way at all, unfortunately Her writing was better suited to the chapters describing life before the war, although even then I think writing about a character who seems to have little understanding of his own emotions, or how to convey them Pita , is setting yourself up for a challenge.I guess maybe I just didn t quite get it I saw the twists if that s what they were supposed to be coming a mile off, and even if I hadn t, the lack of emotion I felt for any of the characters meant such revelations had little impact It was an interesting look into the effect of two world wars across the generations of a family, but fell a bit flat.