Sunday, 10 December 2006

Juggling with Mandarins, V.M. Jones, 2003

Juggling with Mandarins by V.M. Jones, HarperCollins, Auckland, New Zealand, 2003, 255 pages, paperback, NZ$16.95.
ISBN 1-86950-462-3

Boy facing a challenge

We’ve all seen those red-faced rugby-fathers screaming with rage at the referee on Saturday mornings. Pip is appalled by his father’s obsessive attitude and has the courage to literally walk away from the game. He finds a new sporting challenge, one at which he excels and succeeds in establishing his own independence. He copes with the problems of adolescence with a nice touch of humour. At the same time he has the strength of character and self-confidence to achieve a moving reconciliation with his father.

Vicky Jones is the Christchurch writer whose first novel, Buddy, won three awards last year. Juggling with Mandarins shows her success wasn’t a fluke.

Trevor Agnew

First published in The Press, Christchurch, New Zealand on 27th September 2003

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