The Great Quiet (Paperback)
From 1966 to 1996, France conducted 193 nuclear weapons tests in the Polynesian islands of the South Pacific, only ending the tests after particularly fierce protests from the locals. The full impact of radioactive fallout in the region is still being uncovered after decades of military and political subterfuge. Within this backdrop of colonization and fallout, the personal is inextricable from the political.
Manu is a widower who enters local politics to deal with the loss of his oldest son in a plane crash, only to be sent reeling when his teenage daughter Ari is diagnosed with the rare blood cancer myeloma. Angela, a single mother whose health and six-bed pension are both failing, keeps her son Natua close and her secrets even closer.
After Ari's illness takes a turn for the worse, she sneaks away to Paris to seek treatment, Natua by her side. While there, the pair must look within to discover what they're truly made of.
This haunting, lyrical work plumbs the depths of family and loyalty while illuminating the poorly understood nuclear catastrophe still impacting Ma'ohi families today.