The Scarlet Series by Lani Wendt Young
Every culture has its own taboos, topics that are forbidden to discuss, little secrets no one should know about. Lani Wendt Young isn’t scared to unravel even the most distressing truths. Her newest series is funny and light-hearted on the surface, but beneath all the cheerfulness one discovers the darker side of paradise.
These are romance books that show Samoa in a way it’s rarely seen.
‘Where We Once Belonged’ by Sia Figiel
A coming-of-age story set in Samoa and penned by a Samoan writer? Yes please!
This outstanding – and probably quite shocking to a foreign reader – novel is an exceptional explanation of the Samoan culture that touches on the subject of personal and social identity and the dominance of the latter over the former. Although written in a poetic manner, it is solidly anchored in reality.
The Materena Mahi Trilogy by Célestine Hitiura Vaite
This light-hearted series is a wonderful way to ‘see’ and understand (at least to some extent) Tahitian culture. Célestine Hitiura Vaite takes readers on a guided tour, showing them what it really means to live on the island many believe is the quintessence of romance. But is it really? Well, everyday life in the town of Faa’a may not be romantic, but it sure is full of excitement.
A wonderful – and gripping – journey to French Polynesia. One you don’t want to miss!
‘A Farm in the South Pacific Sea’ by Jan Walker
What does it mean to be a palangi businesswoman in Tonga in the 1960s and 1970s? Jan Walker’s novel provides a fantastic answer to this question. Despite being a fictionalized account of actual events (the story is based on the author’s cousin’s experiences), it offers invaluable insights into the life in the South Pacific kingdom.
This is a cross-cultural love story that moves, surprises, inspires, and educates.
‘Scar of the Bamboo Leaf’ by Sieni A.M.
Sieni A.M.’s book cannot be praised enough. Not only does it portray a touching and thought-provoking story, but it also lets readers immerse themselves in the world of Samoan customs and traditions, so deeply-rooted in the local culture. With this novel one can pay a visit to 21st-century Samoa and still explore the country’s ancient ways.
Marvelous read, pure and simple.