This takes place on an island off Australia where Greg, Jenny, and Darryl have grown up together and where Greg, dead serious about the island's ecology, now confronts his hard-working sheep farmer father, who thinks feeding people is more important than saving wildlife. Greg is willing to help Dad on the farm if it's run his way (no poison, a vermin-proof fence), but when Dad sticks to his terms Greg leaves home--to dive for abalone with Darryl and save money for an environmental science course at the university. Pretty Jenny, who studies birds, sustains Greg throughout (""It was very wonderful to be one of two people who could communicate"") and Dad maintains that ""it's that girl"" who is luring Greg to the uni. But a break with Jenny when Greg decides to go ""birding"" for money--he wants to conserve but is also willing to ""harvest""--makes him all the surer that his motives are pure. The problem though is not that Greg, like many his age, thinks in self-righteous black and white, but that Clark's presentation of the issues and actors is just as heavyhanded.