Mister Pip and Bougainville



Reading this book while travelling through Bougainville, where the crisis is now talked of in the past- but the near past – and where the scars linger and the damage obvious ……. was at times surreal but also very moving.

This novel is intense, beautiful and fablelike, Llyod Jones weaves a transcendent story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of narrative to transform lives.

A rare, original story about the abiding strength that imagination, once ignited, can provide. The importance of literature, books and reading is obvious when, in the book, Mr. Watts – the eccentric and mysterious one remaining white man on the island – starts reading Great Expectations, the Charles Dickens’s classic, to the children each day in their ruined schoolhouse.

The importance of imagination became obvious talking to young Hildegard, ( above ) one of the waitress at the guesthouse I stayed in for a few days in Buka. She had not read the book but had seen the film (based on the book) – It had been filmed in a beautiful bay in Central Bougainville. She had not known there was such a job as actress and found it hard to believe that a young woman from Bougainville had starred in the film, “I think she must be African “ she said.

How do you imagine a life or type of job if your only life experience and exposure is limited to a remote village in the middle of a small country?

.This is a beautiful book and a must read.


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