by Mandy Hager

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Eighteen-year-old Grace has struggled all her life with her place in this family and in the world. Obviously of Asian descent, she has been unable to get the truth about her parentage from her mother, a woman who is struggling with her own demons, that date back to her life in Taiwan where she survived an earthquake while giving birth to Grace. The two were evacuated back to New Zealand, never to return. Grace has often had to be the adult in this dysfunctional relationship, and now she is faced with the fact that her only rock in her uncertain world, her grandmother, may be fading into a senility of sorts, and her long-lost best friend from childhood has returned to Wellington without having made any effort to find her. Let down by those around her and faced with having to take on the burden of caring for her mother, Grace is teetering on the edge. Her only relief is imaginary conversations with Bruce Lee and her lessons and tutor in martial arts.

About the Author

Mandy Hager has an astonishing collection of awards including winning the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year at the NZCYP annual children's for Singing Home the Whale, the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship, and has been awarded the Storylines Margaret Mahy Medal. She is the author of two One Tree House NZ history titles: 'Hindsight: Pivotal Moments in New Zealand's History' and 'Protest! Shaping Aotearoa', and she has published many award-winning novels for young adults. In 2024 The Cuba Press Mandy is publishing the first two books in an adult supernatural thriller series: Chasing Ghosts. Mandy Hager is a multi-award-winning writer of fiction for young adults. In 2019 she was awarded the Margaret Mahy Medal for life-time achievement and a distinguished contribution to New Zealand's literature for young people.

She has won the LIANZA Book Awards for Young Adult fiction 3 times ('Smashed' 2008, 'The Nature of Ash' 2013, 'Dear Vincent' 2014), the NZ Post Children's Book Awards for YA fiction ('The Crossing' 2010), an Honour Award in the 1996 AIM Children's Book Awards ('Tom's Story'), Golden Wings Excellence Award ('Juno Lucina,' 2002), Golden Wings Award ('Run For The Trees', 2003) and six Notable Book Awards. She has also been awarded the 2012 Beatson Fellowship, the 2014 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship and the 2015 Waikato University Writer in Residence.

In 2015 her novel 'Singing Home the Whale' was awarded the Margaret Mahy Book of the Year award, and the Best Young Adult fiction Award from the NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. It has also been named a 2016 IBBY Honour Book, an international award. In May 2017 her historical novel for adults, Heloise, was published by Penguin NZ. It tells the life story of Heloise d'Argenteuil, famed lover of 12th century French philosopher Peter Abelard. It was longlisted for the 2018 Ockham Book Awards. She is a trained teacher, with an Advanced Diploma in Fine Arts (Whitireia) and an MA in Creative Writing for Victoria University. She also writes adult fiction, short stories, non-fiction, educational resources, blogs and articles, and tutored the Novel Course for Whitireia's Creative Writing Programme for 10 years. From 2019 to 2022, she was President of The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa (PEN NZ) Inc.

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