Book Review: The Space Between

The Space Between
by Lauren Keenan
Review by Marija

This is an enthralling story set in the 1860s during the New Zealand Wars, in particular the impending Taranaki War in New Plymouth. The main protagonists are two women, on what would be the opposing sides, linked by their relationship to one man. Frances is a spinster, recently moved to New Plymouth due to her family’s dwindling fortunes. Matāria is a Māori woman, married to a white man. Both women are forced to navigate their lives in the space in-between, neither rejected, nor fully accepted, by their families. I really enjoyed the confluence of the women’s vastly different lives, with the universal human themes of love and acceptance. Together with the seamless weaving of historical facts throughout, I felt that I learnt as much as I took pleasure in reading this book. Highly recommended for historical fiction buffs, those wanting to learn more about NZ history, or anyone looking for a great story.