Book Review: Boundary by Paul W. Feenstra

BOUNDARY by Paul W. Feenstra

Lang Book Publishing (July 5, 2016)

Literature & Fiction/Historical Fiction



July 1839, without the knowledge of the English Government, the ship Tory, stealthily departed Plymouth, determined to reach New Zealand with the utmost speed. The objective, to purchase millions of acres of land at the lowest possible price and then build the perfect society. The New Zealand Company called the first settlement Britannia, a civilization without the shortcomings and failings of a troubled English culture. Onboard the Tory, a young Scottish couple indentured to the New Zealand Company, are excited at the prospect of beginning a new life. Britannia is the Utopia they’ve been promised. This is the story of adversity, the struggle to survive in the hardships of a new colony, and the fight to preserve morality and integrity in the face of greed, deception and injustice. For Andrew and Eleanor Stewart, they must first battle the environment – they now live in fear for their lives. Upon arriving in New Zealand, colonists and settlers discover that it isn’t as advertised and is far from the paradise they were promised. The New Zealand Company show no restraint as surveyors measure, plot and divide, while disregarding mounting claims of illegally purchased lands and fraudulently obtained deeds. Underestimating the Maori people, the Company tests their patience. How much more can Maori withstand before they finally take action and rebel? Befriended and aided by formidable Maori chiefs, the Stewart’s question their own beliefs and values as they discover what lengths powerful men will go to in order satisfy their greed and lust for land. Caught between the loyalty to their employer and helping Maori, Andrew and Eleanor encounter schemers and murderers as they challenge the powerful New Zealand Company and the men who govern. Using violence and intimidation, one man can destroy it all and threatens to topple everything – who will survive? Accurately researched, this is a story of honour and integrity, highlighting an often-misunderstood dark passage in New Zealand’s early colonial history.

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Boundary is a historical fiction novel depicting New Zealand’s early colonial history. You can tell the history was thoroughly researched. It details the early colonial life and impact colonialism had on the natives. Based on real events and contains for the most part, the actual names of people who existed.

“The Company was founded by men with great souls and little pockets, and fell into the hands of men with great pockets and little souls.”

Boundary is about the decline and fall of the New Zealand Company; it’s a story of the people, both the native Maori and the immigrants, who endured the injustices and lasting effects of the company’s plan. Carefully selected colonists of character and reputation were granted land and opportunity in New Zealand; creating the perfect English society. What the New Zealand Company’s plan did was destroyed the dreams of many and negatively impacted the natives who lived there. They brought good, hardworking people to New Zealand with promises of work and a future that they did not provide. They took the land from the natives and added to their struggles.  They went against the policy of the British government.

“Colonisation is just another word for invasion.” – Ngaiti

It was a moral and humanitarian issue. Many events included are real and actually happened. Some were, as stated by the author, altered to create a more compelling story and I believe he succeeded. Well done!


A1CdaWMU7UL._SY200_  Paul W. Feenstra is a historical fiction novelist. He has authored four novels, Boundary, The Breath of God, For Want of a Shilling, and Tied to Mae. He is currently writing his fifth ‘Into the Shade’. Meticulously researched, and set in beautiful and mysterious New Zealand, Paul’s novels frequently detail early colonial life, and the impact colonialism had on native Maori. Says Feenstra, “History is about the untold story, and writing historical fiction is a wonderful way to present the past in a compelling and entertaining way.” Born in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1959, to Dutch immigrants, Paul still commutes frequently to Los Angeles, California, where he worked as a multiple ‘Emmy’ nominated entertainment industry professional. For over 25 years he called the USA home and was fortunate to travel extensively throughout the country. His two grown children still reside in Los Angeles. Sought after as a public speaker by various learning institutions, professional member networks, and countless organisations, Paul has toured the length of New Zealand lecturing about his unique experiences in the Hollywood film and television industry. Recognised for his contribution in helping his country, Paul was honoured by the New Zealand government and invited to join the prestigious, ‘World Class New Zealand,’ network. In his spare time he enjoys photography and wrestling bears.


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