It is very rare that I have read something that gives off such history as this book. Grace has a wat of bring inviting in how she uses each little story to weave together a piece of the culture. It is through this that we are able to see what is important to the people of the land, and how they view their homeland. In a way, this invitation that Grace gives us allows us to take away what we want to from the history of New Zealand. The fact that there is no specific time period really annoyed me when I first started reading, but now it really doesn't bother me, In reading the second half I can take what is interesting, and it really doesn't matter when things occurred, it is the cultural identity, and the idea of the homeland of the Mauri people that is interesting to me.
However now there is a change in the history of the home of Toko and his family: they are being invaded by others. The beauty of their home is gone and they have to start all over again also. Even the loving man is burned and has to be reconstructed. I almost saw a crucifixion type thene with the fire when reading about Mary pulling him from the "ashes" and Toko helping her fix him. It was kind of sad, but beautiful at the same time. Despite the fact that he had to be restored, at least they found d him at all and he was not completely destroyed.
Another theme that also brings true, with the fixing of the loving-man is the idea of love itself. What is the best part about being home? Being around the people you love and care about. In this instance the loving-man is not a person, but he was as important as a person to be restored by Mary and Toko, and like we talked about in class with the Christ/Mary reference, it is what you see when he is repaired.
A really stirring image of the new home that has been built is of Toko laying between the loving-man's feet. It is stirring and creates a really wonderful idea of what kind of comfort is associated with the statue. It is almost a metaphysical idea of what he represents for Toko and the family. In a way, like a Christ reference, his aura gives afeeling of comfort. This is true with our view as Christians towards God; He is not seebalem, but the comfort is still there in church and on holidays. The loving-man is even appropriately named, and I'm not sure if Grace wants us to think of him as a Christ figure but the name certainly gives off an image of someone whose love is unconditional for those around them. This is especially needed for the family at this point in the novel when they are questioning so much in their lives.