Reminiscent of James Michener, this book is an entertaining adventure story about life on a remote and fictional island in the South Pacific narrated as memoirs of the main character, Kit Masters. The story begins in the thirties and takes the island and its inhabitants, both native and expats who have come from far corners of the world, through war, epidemics, feuds, and natural disasters. Descriptions of people and island life are as interesting as the plot devices, and there are riveting sections. The discovery of Gauguin paintings and a secret romance in the past, as well as the descriptions of the daily life in and around the island, its neighbours and the ship that visits regularly are the best parts of the story.
The book is let down in a few respects, that detract from an otherwise captivating story. That the author has done some research is evident, and appreciable in a story like this, but it falls short in his depictions of both British and American military, and plate-tectonics. Characters are many times hollow, and, sadly, the main character comes off as a bit of a jerk - he is far too selfish and lacking compassion to be convincing as a good, heroic doctor, especially in times of crisis. The female characters come across as one-dimensional, and the author seems to be under the impression that all American characters must use constant expletives. The most disappointing part of the book comes in the truncated Part Four, in which the author, possibly grown tired of his story, albeit loses the plot in both willing suspension of disbelief and characterisations.
Not at all a bad book, and quite a thrilling read. Definitely a good adventure with a little romance around the edges.