This book really grabbed me right from the beginning of the story. The story begins with the birth of fraternal twins, with the grandfather patiently awaiting the birth of the son. Right away I felt sadness when the mother and one of the twins die.
The boy dies and the girl survives. The grandpa seems to not care about the girl who survived . He was longing for his grandson because he is from the Maori tribe and the tribe is waiting for the sign of a new chief to be born . The chief would lead the village and its community to greatness. Many elders have been born but none with the strength to be the next chief. The little girl was namedPai.
The grandma of Pai took her home to raise her along with the grandfather. The grandfather showed right away that women or girls where less than a man. He longed for a new chief . This was grandpas goal in life right now.
He could see that their tribe was going down hill .He had hoped one of his son’s would become the chief but neither one did. So grandpa was set on his grandson becoming the next chief .It was no secret that he blamed Pia for the death of his grandson. He felt by her birth she gave a curse to the tribe. He couldn’t see any truth or purpose in her having life over the grandson.
He showed resentment toward her. As time went on , Pia seemed to be this stubborn, curious, and smart little tomboy . The grandfather didn’t like that pia was a tomboy . He wanted her to stay away from all the boy activities.
He started a boy school only , it was to train and educate boys . He was hoping to get a chief out of one of them. Pia wanted so badly to do what the boys were doing. She would spy on them and copy what they did.
She could do exactly what her grandad wanted the boys to do. I felt that he new something was special about Pia. He would see how she mastered all tasks but instead of being proud he would get angrier and angrier at her. The more Pia did the more he was saying she was a curse to their tribe. She was ruining what he was trying to do..Pia was trying so hard to win her grandad over but she was nothing more than a disappointment.
.. The man is wholead the tribe not a women.
He would be against anything Pia would put his way. It was amazing to me of how she kept herself together. I mean her Grandpa was down right mean to her at times. There was a point in the movie where he said “ I have no use for you “. This would have killed me as a child to hear those words come from my grandfather mouth.
But those words didn’t get to her at all it seemed to make her try harder. In the movie, There’s a part where The grandfather takes the boys from the school out to the sea. He drops a whale tooth necklace into the sea. He tells the boys “ One of you will bring this back to me” . The boys dive in and actually one comes close to getting it but it falls through his hands back to the sea. The grandfather loses all hope for his tribe and at the same time he againblames the girl.
It really was sad to watch at times how he lays all the blame on his tribe to her birth. He feels that the birth of a girl was the biggest curse ever. Pia secretly stillwanting all the knowledge of her grandfather and I don’t think she actually thinking “I want to be the tribe leader” . I feel that for Pia is was just wanting the acceptance and uncondional love of her grandad. .
Pia was learning and becoming exactly what the tribe needed and she was a girl. Pia would hear her grandfather trying to call in the whales but she knew that they were.