Last night we launched ‘Ash Arising’ in Kapiti at the Paraparaumu library. My son, Thom Lawson, launched the book and so thoroughly ‘got’ what I wanted to say I’d like to share it with you here:
‘This is a classic story for stimulating political thought. When I was growing up I heard a lot of my peers expressing their discontent with the current political system but I’d rarely hear alternatives voiced.
This book shines a light on possibility and also the danger of political and ethical complacency. The power of the people, soul force, what we want in governance is a difficult topic to confront, especially as all we seem to get is semi-satisfying spin shoved down our throats until it’s believed.
Mandy’s story follows on from ‘The Nature of Ash’, after Ash has exposed a corrupt Prime Minister and Chief of Police. ‘Ash Arising’ starts on a sombre low, the people have not let truth in, gagging briefly but accepting the spin. Ash hides out with his friends and what remains of his family. With a rush, he’s on the run once more, only to be captured and hauled away into a militant nightmare of deprivation and torture.
What I enjoyed most about this book was the way Mandy let her main character, Ash, come to his own path, leading him to a way to change NZ’s future. Galvanised by fear, and encouraged by a core of good friends, he sees that he must stand and say what needs to be said. But how to do it?
He can join with a militant rebel group, hell bent on burning the corrupt government to the ground, no matter the cost, or remain being true to his core virtues and lead the people away from violence and chaos.
I enjoyed Ash as a character, his strong resolve and his love for his brother Mikey. Mikey is a character dear to me. I used to work with a Down Syndrome lad when I was younger. I remember always being astounded at his capacity for joy and love of life. I think Mum portrayed these attributes effectively and I’m glad for the show-case of their beautiful relationship.
You have done so well with this, Mum. I think it will help old and new generations to look at what is important and to realise that power is in the hands of the people, together. “To feel fear and to still act, is true courage.”
Thank you, Thom. You’ve filled my heart with pride and joy.