LITTLE WING Joanna Horniman, Allen & Unwin, Australia, 2006172 pages, paperback, NZ$19.99
“I couldn’t look after her properly. And I was so scared I’d do something dreadful to her that I had to leave her.”
In Joanna Horniman’s award-winning novel, Mahalia , Matt and Emmy had a baby, Mahalia, when they were both 17. Then Emmy fled, leaving Matt to care for Mahalia. Little Wing is a companion volume, where Emmy re-examines her life, her relationship with Matt and her inability to love little Mahalia.
“She knew that she didn’t behave the way you were meant to. But she knew of no other way to be.”
The novel follows Emmy through the process of gradually getting her life together, and interacting with people rather than running away. Finally she feels strong enough to meet Matt again but, of course, he fears that Emmy wishes to take Mahalia away from him.
Little Wing is a warm, serious novel about personal courage, self-confidence and the reclamation of a life.
First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand on August 12th 2006.