Nation is a book that had a profound effect on me. It shows how far you can go, both in terms of pushing your protagonist and in dismantling prevailing ideas to make your reader think about our world. Pratchett does all of this and makes it funny.
Mau, our hero is away from his island nation when a tsunami strikes. Returning, he has to face a disaster that would fell stronger men. To his credit, Pratchett doesn’t flinch from showing us Mau’s extreme mental turmoil.
Daphne, a Victorian girl survivor of a shipwreck is the only other person on the island with him, unless you count the foul-mouthed ship’s parrot. Pratchett has great fun with the ‘clash of civilisations’ trope, mainly at the expense of the ‘civilised’. Together, the children create the beginnings of a new home.