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James Poneke is a young Maori orphan, raised by missionaries, with a burning desire to travel and explore the world.
When an English artist on a tour of New Zealand invites James to return home with him, the boy eagerly accepts and agrees to become a living exhibit at the artist's London show. By day, James dresses in full tribal outfit, being stared at, prodded and examined by paying visitors.
By night, he is free to explore the city, but anything can happen to a young New Zealander on the savage streets of Victorian London and James is unprepared for the wonders, dangers and unearthed secrets that await. The Imaginary Lives of James Poneke is an unforgettable work of historical fiction in the spirit of Sarah Waters and Sarah Perry.
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