Nation – Terry Pratchett


“No more words. We know them all, all the words that should not be said. But you have made my world more perfect.”

This is a quote from one of my favourite books ever – I sound like such a fan girl. I read this book  when I was about 15 and has been in the top 10 ever since. Terry Pratchett – Nation.

This is such a beautiful book – I hate sounding so hipster but it is. The book begins with young boy Mau returning to his village after living on ‘Boy Island’ where the boys of his nation become men. Soon after his home, village and nation are wiped out by a tsunami. Mau has to rebuild his nation from nothing now that he is a man. However, he is not alone. Educated young English rose Daphne, who has been raised on social etiquette and good manners, or ‘Trouser Man’ has been washed up on Mau’s island and together they rebuild his nation, learning about each other and using the past to help create a new future.

Mau is guided by his history of the Nation and the voices of the ‘Grandfathers’ who will not go peacefully. Daphne has to learn the ways of the village while teaching Mau her own lifestyle to what seems like an uncivilized boy. 

Throughout this enchanting story we watch as two young people are forced to grow together and adapt to a lifestyle they never thought they would have to face.

Pratchett wittily demonstrates his ability to create a past, present and future for this world he has created. The novel will make you feel devastated and elated at the same time as you mourn for a past that will never be again and rejoice for a future that’s so promising. 

The book takes the youngsters through many challenging events such as; learning each other’s language, coping with the other villagers, such as Ataba the priest of the nation who is set in his ways of religion and refuses to adapt, escaping the God of death Locaha, and Daphne being kidnapped by mutineers. 

This quote sums up the book and I would high recommend that everyone reads this book, it’s a great, however, slightly different, coming of age book. Although, as ironic as this sounds, this book is for all ages.

“They didn’t know why these things were funny. Sometimes you laugh because you’ve got no more room for crying. Sometimes you laugh because table manners on a beach are funny. And sometimes you laugh because you’re alive, when you really shouldn’t be.”


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