In the late 21st Century, an New Inca priest has discovered a means to send people backward in time by 100 years exactly, and retrieve them(as long as they're on or near either the Tropic of Cancer or of Capricorn). Fletcher Christian IV, direct descendant of the Bounty mutineer and internationally- known scientist, decides to go back to Pitcairn Island, former home of his illustrious forebear.
However, a French nuclear test in the Pacific throws Christian's jaunt awry, and instead he ends up in chains on the Norfolk Island prison colony in 1835, while Bran Michael Dalton, the prisoner he replaced, ended up on Norfolk in 1972.
Christian eventually manages to convince Major Anderson, the commander of the colony, that he is from the future, and Bran adjusts easily to life in the 20th Century. The former plotline is the most interesting one in the book; the Christian/Anderson conversations are intriguing. The rest of the book--up to the oddly unsatisfying ending, in which all is not put back as it was--is lightweight, but not precisely humourous. Just...lacking in conflict, or complication.
Oh, yeah, I guess there is some tension in the Greenpeace III subplot, which involves a Greenpeace boat attempting to force the French to stop their nuclear tests. But this is apparently fact, not fiction, and doesn't impinge on the rest of the book except for the way the nuclear blasts themselves muck up time travel.
So, in all, mildly interesting but ultimately unsatisfying. The Christian plot, by itself, might have made an interesting novella.
%A Green, Terence M.
%T Children of The Rainbow
%I McClelland & Stewart
%D Copyright 1992
%G ISBN 0-7710-3550-0
%P 266 pp.
%O Trade Paperback
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