Celestine Vaite, Breadfruit Reviews

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“Breadfruit ”


written by Harriet Klausner on 12/08/2006

Celestine Vaite
Back Bay, September 2006, $12.99
ISBN: 0316016586

On Tahiti, a drunken Pito Tehana proposes marriage to cleaner Materena Mahi, the mother of his children. Materena, who loves anything involving love, considers his proposal by measuring it against proposals in love movies she has seen. By morning while she ponders how Pito's declaration compares to her fantasy, he forgets that he asked her.

Materena dreams of her nuptials, while a sober Pito is in denial and struggling to thwart her expectations. She simply ignores his protestations and begins to consider what type of marriage she shall have. Meanwhile, the "coconut radio" island gossip alerts everyone that these long time lovers will soon marry once they work out the details. This leads to family members encouraging Materena to force her "fianc to do right by her, especially his mother, who drives a wedding car.

The sequel to the delightfully amusing FRANGIPANI is actually a wonderful prequel, as the events occur much earlier than the first Islander novel. The storyline is fun to follow, though it is in many ways more a series of gossipy vignettes, as the coconut radio visits to Materena provide the audience with insight into life on Tahiti. Materena is terrific as she guides fans on a warm and insightful tour of sharing BREADFRUIT and love, Tahitian style.

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