Thursday, August 02, 2007

More on All Those Bright Crosses

from w
I finished the book in two days but didn't write much about it at the time. It's certainly an intriguing take on life in Suva, centering on the fictional Twilight Homestay where the protaganist has free board in exchange for a few chores and he also has a column in a Fiji newspaper. This I find hard to believe because of Fiji's work visa restrictions for foreigners. However the essence of the book is located in Sydney - a marriage breakdown after the death of a child, then a gambling addiction.

The title 'All Those Bright Crosses' has a simple explanation but so much more could be made of it - either as bright coins/dollars/or religious symbols. In Fiji there are crosses on roadsides after accidents, crosses in churches. The lure of bright coins of course could be applied to the Fijian man who was deported from Australia after seven years and he is introducted the first scene, also to the girl Tabua seeking a better life and the modern-day rascals. The Charlie Savage mysterious treasure is a bit of a goose chase.

The mix of modern day beachcombers however makes this an enjoyable book as the author has used his research and trips to Fiji to observe the various Australian, New Zealand, Chinese people who these days move and do deals in Fiji with little respect for either the Fijian or Indo-Fijian community.

This is not an academic treatise of course, but a piece of fiction in the picador imprint of Pan Macmillan and can be enjoyed by the reader who looks for drama, crime, detection, adventure, or a travel diary. Still though, it's a blokey book ... but I think it could make a good movie.

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