In Our Own Back Yard - Anne Kayes

In Our Own Back Yard - Anne Kayes

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What a read great - I really enjoyed this book, reading it in two sittings.  Whilst this is a YA book, it has much wider appeal - it is a real social history of NZ in 1981.  I remembered a lot of what is in the book; but had plenty of What?  Really? moments. 


It’s March 2020 and Liza, her husband and two teenage children are at home in Auckland in level-four lockdown due to Covid-19. Reflections with her family around the dining table inspire Liza to reflect on another challenging time in history nearly forty years before when the South African Springbok rugby team toured New Zealand.

Casting her memory back to 1981, Liza recalls her life as a fifteen-year-old, including her first love, friendships, first-hand experiences of racism, and what it means and what it costs to find your voice and use it.

In Our Own Backyard is a startling, confronting portrait of a society divided. Anne Kayes has written a masterful YA novel that considers questions of human equality that are as pertinent in the twenty-first century as they were in 1981.




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