Kisses in the Nederends is an… interesting read, to say the least. I did not expect the nature of the book to be quite so blunt. Epeli Hau’ofa creates what I believe to be unrealistic characters, and the methods used to try to cure Oilei seem ridiculous. I found myself rolling my eyes while Marama was explaining how snoring and farting were related. However, this is a completely different culture, one which I am not familiar with in the slightest. They obviously have different traditions and methods for healing, and, although they seem ridiculous, it is wrong of me to label them in that way just because they are different.
Hau’ofa’s work is a mixture of colloquial and descriptive writing; he uses everyday language efficiently so that readers can easily follow his story, yet he throws in certain words that add so much to his describing the scene. For example: “Makarita stormed furiously back into the house and towered over her prostrate husband” (13). Words such as “towered” and “stormed” clearly indicate Makarita’s anger and embarrassment toward her husband; this is a much more efficient way of depicting her emotions than simply stating, “Makarita was angry.”
I found that the names were difficult to remember. I found myself questioning a number of the names because I could not remember them, especially Marama, Makarita, and Mere. I could not keep those names attached to the characters. Was it because Hau’ofa threw the reader into the middle of the story? I feel as though he barely had time for characterization (or he didn’t exactly characterize at all) and instead threw around the names as if the reader was already familiar with the people. It also could have been my own fault; maybe I should have read more carefully.