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By: Joe Bocker


Pages: 536 Ratings: 4.6
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Gordon is drifting alone in the bustling city of Auckland; grieving and lacking motivation, he receives a mysterious phone call from an elderly aunt asking him to come and visit. Reluctantly, but with no better plan, he agrees and travels to Ngawai, a dying little town on the west coast of the North Island. What he discovers there both horrifies and re-energises him: a white outsider coaching soccer in a mainly Māori town. He is immediately thrust into conflict with Tane, the embittered coach of the rugby league club. Entangled in a web of grief, love, sex and anger, his passion is re-ignited and through this, he finds the strength to battle prejudice and corruption, and ultimately, rediscovers hope.

Joe Bocker was born in Edinburgh in Scotland in 1955. A science graduate of St Andrew’s University in Scotland, he taught science for 14 years in secondary schools in Edinburgh before emigrating to New Zealand with his young family in 1994.

Married with three daughters, he taught in New Zealand before setting up a Kindergarten. After his daughters left for university, Joe turned part of the home into a guest house and enjoyed sharing his love of New Zealand with guests from all over the world. Meg, his wife, is a GP, and together they decided on a change of lifestyle and took to travelling around, taking up short-term locum positions.

This change of life allowed Joe to experiment with writing. Scars is his second full-length novel. Earwig, his first, has proved to be very popular, as have his two shorter humorous books, The iWedding and The Bloomin’ Club.

Customer Reviews
10 reviews
10 reviews
  • Diane

    I read this great novel whilst on holiday travelling in New Zealand and really enjoyed it. It gave a real insight into the feeling of New Zealand from it's amazing scenery to the culture and life in a small, largely Maori town that was in decline. The main character and the two other key characters had all suffered very significant losses at different stages in their lives and this was explored with great sensitivity. More than anything this was a story involving many emotions, including grief, guilt, anger but most of all love and hope. As usual, when I read a book I've really enjoyed there was a sadness when I had finished it and I wanted to know what might have happened to the characters over the next few years. Although tackling difficult issues this is essentially an uplifting book and I would highly recommend it.

  • MK

    Small town story with very topical themes. Great read.

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