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With a hint of philosophy, a dash of insanity, and a woman who could make Gauguin's mouth water, this novel takes the usual ingredients of history and tosses them into the air. Welcome to the beautiful French colony of New Zealand! OK, so it never happened. But it nearly did . . . Welcome to beautiful French New Zealand - a paradise of vineyards, cafes and forest conservation. The year is 1930. Lieutenant Verdier is travelling from Sainte Chapelle in the south to New Lyon in the north to take up a new posting as chauffeur to the Resident Governor. The sun is shining, the war in Morocco is just a distant memory, and although he has doubts about his new employer, at least Verdier can look forward to driving the latest Citroen. The only problem is Wellington, where a few disgruntled English still remain, grumbling that the colony should have been theirs, and charging everyone a fortune for insurance. As soon as Verdier can, he escapes to the glorious scenery and welcoming people of the National Park. Then someone steals his car. And instead of passing through the park, Verdier embarks on a journey up its winding rivers and tortuous tracks to where Titoko and Marama are waiting, as if they always knew he would come.The French language edition of Son of France was awarded the Prix Popai for best foreign novel at the Salon International du Livre Oc�anien, New Caledonia, in 2005.

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