The Be­gin­ning of The End

mailife - - Contents - By SEONA SMILES Pho­tos SUP­PLIED

Pro­lific Fiji au­thor Daryl Tarte has cho­sen to write his lat­est novel about the con­cerns many peo­ple in the Pa­cific is­lands have – global warm­ing, cli­mate change and es­pe­cially sea level rise. Ti­tled The Be­gin­ning of the End, it is a som­bre book look­ing at the dis­as­trous course of cli­mate change ef­fects, po­lit­i­cal pres­sures and con­flict on so­ci­ety. As ever, Tarte writes clearly and force­fully us­ing a fic­tional plot and what he de­scribes as ‘com­pos­ite’ char­ac­ters to ex­pose forth­right opin­ions. There is ac­tion, plot and pace in the text, yet the book is es­sen­tially a ve­hi­cle for a dis­cus­sion on the dis­as­trous course the world is tak­ing and of the eth­i­cal and cul­tural val­ues that have been aban­doned. As he says in the in­tro­duc­tion: “… not much of the ma­te­rial is fic­tion. Cli­mate change is a re­al­ity and many of the events…. are fac­tual and faith­fully recorded.” Tarte cov­ers the nat­u­ral beauty of Fiji and other places and the cus­toms and tra­di­tions of their com­mu­ni­ties, as well as the con­flict and cli­matic dis­as­ters. His story ranges from Kiri­bati to Aus­tralia to In­dia and Europe, ex­plor­ing ter­ri­fy­ing trends on a global scale and cov­er­ing top­ics from Baltic con­flicts to the Is­lamic State, fam­ily re­la­tion­ships to ter­ror­ism. The chap­ter head­ing quote on P120 ‘It is sim­ply too po­lit­i­cal’ doesn’t ap­ply to Tarte. Yet the tenor of his writ­ing is non­con­fronta­tional, the aim seems gen­uinely to be to help peo­ple “un­der­stand where we are go­ing wrong”. The essence of the book is well de­scribed in the first two para­graphs of the In­tro­duc­tion: “When peo­ple think of a South Sea Is­land na­tion they in­evitably con­jure up an im­age of a trop­i­cal par­adise with gen­tly sway­ing palms, pris­tine beaches, calm seas and beau­ti­ful peo­ple. “While part of this im­age is still true, the harsh re­al­ity is, the world is so in­ter­con­nected that no is­land is now a re­mote haven of peace and tran­quil­lity as they are im­pacted, in some way, by all that goes on in the world.” He has a long view. The Tarte fam­ily have lived in Fiji for six gen­er­a­tions and his early years were spent on Tave­uni. Life on a co­pra plan­ta­tion has been de­light­fully re­vealed in some of his ear­lier works. He de­scribes writ­ing as his hobby, re­sult­ing in pub­li­ca­tion of eight books about Fiji and the Pa­cific, bi­ogra­phies, fic­tion and fac­tual in­for­ma­tion, while an­other is on the way. The Be­gin­ning of the End is pub­lished by Olympia of Lon­don and is avail­able on­line from the pub­lisher’s web­site, Ama­zon and Book De­pos­i­tory and stocks are ex­pected soon at the USP Book Cen­tre and Tap­poo’s out­lets. Af­ter you fin­ish the fi­nal chap­ter it may be good to read Tarte’s last words in the In­tro­duc­tion, which ex­press a lit­tle hope in the grim sce­nar­ios de­scribed within. In any case, he had the wit to sign the re­view copy with ‘Happy read­ing’.

Tarte writes about cli­mate change ef­fects on the Pa­cific Is­lands in his new book The Be­gin­ning of the End.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Fiji

© PressReader. All rights reserved.