Like the other previous books, this book is full of history and facts about New Zealand and the Maori culture.
Many of the characters in this novel are researchers of the Maori culture (Caleb, Ben, Charlotte). Charlotte, Jack’s first wife, is in love with it and does a thorough research. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have long to finish her research. She finds her death on Cape Reinga, with is the northermost area in New Zealand. Charlotte persuades her husband to go there even though she’s weak and sick. They talk to the Maori they find and the lighthouse keeper.
A huge part in the book is about the First World War and the ANZAC, which was the Australian – New Zealand army, and Jack and the other characters are witnesses of what happened in Gallipolli when they fought the Turks.
At the end of the book the author says that from this episode in history all the characters are fictional, except medical ofificer Joseph Beeston and his dog Paddy, who Jack saved from the sea. Dr. Beeston then saves Jack’s life when he’s wounded. This officer then wrote a book about his experience in Gallipolli in the First World War.
And finally I can’t forget to mention the Maori culture. There are a lot of elements here, and in this book they mention tapu, which is things that are forbidden or taboo, like sacred ground. In all the books we learn about the way Maori wed and the couple has to lie together before the whole family. Maori also greet each other by rubbing their noses. And there are a lot of legends and stories about Maori mithology, for example, Rangi and Papa, which personify the earth and the sky. Or the story of Kuramarotini, or the way Maori migrated to New Zealand. And I can’t forget the music , haka, which makes Kura so famous and rich.