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Darryl is unsure about the protests he sees on TV: hadn't his granddad, who was a prisoner of war, been saved by the US bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2?
He had told Darryl the Japanese would have killed all POWs if the Allies had invaded.
Darryl's mother works with foreign pupils at a local high school and takes him on a work trip to Mangareva, in the Gambier group of French Polynesia, pretty well next door to Mururoa, where the bomb testing is taking place.
En route in Tahiti Darryl witnesses a protest march erupt into violence.
But don't peaceful countries need the threat of nuclear deterrence to prevent all-out war?
New Plymouth author David Hill portrays well the uncertainties of a boy growing up in mid-1970s New Zealand.
• René Nol is a Dunedin reader.