Books like 'Blue Smoke' are why Kiwis aren't reading much NZ literary fiction (ref Metro and last week's Nine to Noon). Why would you want to keep on plodding through dour miserable stories about dour miserable people when you could be absorbed in well-written stories about fascinating people living interesting lives?
Maru - better than Prozac, with no side-effects except occasional hysterical laughter. Trust me on this one. Try"Many too small boxes and Maru" for a taster