When he had just left secondary school, Sam Elliot considered the prospect of moving to England. What he didn’t realise was that the departure would be quite so sudden. Leaving Fiji on 16th September 1967 with only £50 in his pocket, his long adventure began.
In My Journey from Fiji to England, Sam recalls his difficult, but happy childhood in Fiji, growing up on a farm surrounded by poverty and cared for by a widowed mother. Although young he did his fair share of work, earning money by collecting empty beer bottles and selling these to the local village shop where the shopkeeper would give him a penny for each clean bottle. As he grew older, Sam attended the local primary school and was fortunate to attend secondary school because his mother worked hard to afford the tuition fees.
The book portrays Sam’s departure from Fiji after secondary school as a young adult and his arrival in England, where he relied on hard work to improve his living standards. Using amusing anecdotes he recalls how he was introduced to everyday luxuries such as baths and televisions, highlighting the differences between the two countries that he has called home. Sam explains how coming to England gave him a better standard of life, but how he still misses the informal lifestyle and culture of Fiji.
My Journey from Fiji to England offers readers an insight into the landscape, history and culture of Fiji from a local perspective. Sam’s memoir is a factual, informative and interesting read that will appeal to readers that enjoy autobiographys. It will also be enjoyed by readers interested in travel and culture, especially those interested in Fiji.