The Beginning of The End
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.