A young New Zealand nursing student is lunching in her college café in 1974 when an unknown ?Black man with a halo of corkscrew curls' sits uninvited next to her. Within a year, she marries the stranger in a traditional Solomon Islands' ceremony near the beach on which he was born, midway through his mother's four-hour walk to the clinic.
Naked children and bare-breasted women greet the couple's arrival by canoe. She is the sole European at her wedding. Her only present is a shell. She discovers their home is a fibreboard house perched on stilts in a sea of mud on a muddy road. They bathe in a stream and fetch water from the river. The sea is the toilet. For most of the next forty years, this is her world - and the setting of the incredible story she reveals in Frigate Birds.
Standards of health, nutrition, welfare and education are woefully low. But limited experience and basic knowledge are no deterrent as the young newlywed resolutely sets about improving the health and welfare of the islanders.
She battles politicians, lawyers and health authorities. At home, she copes with bankruptcy, divorce and the birth of two sons.
Frigate Birds is a gripping deeply personal account of an amazing life set against a background of riots, minor wars and political upheaval.
A unique and incredible story.