So you're an explorer. You're on a virtually uncharted planet with a colleague (who you love/hate) a materialist native, a star-struck tourist and a vast, staggeringly inept and politically-correct bureaucracy. Can you write a book in which nothing much happens, and yet still make it funny, witty, insightful and memorable?
Ms Willis can, but that will not come as a surprise to fans of her later (and better) books such as 'Fire Watch' (my favourite), 'Doomsday Book' and 'To Say Nothing Of The Dog'. As with all her books, it's a love story, and although it's an inconsequential little thing it's still better than most fantasies.
I don't think I would recommend that you start here (try Bellweather) but if you like Ms Willis' works, it's worth reading.