Tag Archives: Sieni A.M.


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.



Samoa. Where to go? What to see? What to do? Sieni A.M., the author of ‘Illumine Her’ and ‘Scar of the Bamboo Leaf’, gives her recommendations.

Visit Namua Island

If you want a true departure from the rigors of life, then this is the place to go. A short boat ride from Upolu (and if you’re lucky you’ll see turtles skimming the ocean floor), you’ve reached the island where beach fale dot the sandy banks furnished simply with comfortable foam mattresses, pillows, and mosquito nets. Dusk is my favorite time of the day because there’s no electricity. Lanterns are instead provided and the only sounds are those of the waves crashing on the beach. Breakfasts and dinners are prepared by the family caretakers, and other than a few fellow solitude seekers, you pretty much have the island to yourself. In the daytime, you can hike up a trail that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and spot dolphins, swim in the water, or read in the fale where the breeze is always blowing. Anything that combines nature with reading is my ideal form of escape.

Enjoy High Tea at the Plantation House

For a unique experience that combines the vibrancy, flair, and hospitality of the Pacific together with the etiquette, polish, and culture of English high tea set against a tropical backdrop, the Plantation House at Alafua offers this and much more. The hostess, Marita Wendt, will welcome you warmly and set about making your visit a truly enjoyable one. Perfect for intimate gatherings, bridal showers or a simple mother-daughter date, it’s also the ideal place to throw on that pretty dress and take a significant other or overseas guest to. Afterwards, a browse through the boutique will make you want to refurbish your entire home (and wardrobe).

Visit Baha’i Temple

Nestled in the cool mountains of Tiapapata and away from the busyness of town, this place of worship is one of seven around the world and is known as the Mother Temple of the Pacific. Open to everyone regardless of religion, social status, or ethnicity, and built on acres of lush land with views of the Pacific Ocean and tropical rainforests, the surrounding gardens and peacefulness lend a reverent quality and spiritually uplifting experience to someone who wants to reflect, meditate, and pray. For temple services, anyone is welcome to attend them on Sundays at 10 am.