The narrative begins in Hawaii, tracing the renaissance of surfing after decades of missionary prohibition, and the rise of the Waikiki beach boys, as tourism begins to transform the pineapple port of Honolulu. That Summer at Boomerang recreates pre-World War I Australia and tells a tale of its loss of innocence via the story of the charismatic Duke Kahanamoku - Hawaii's best surfer and swimmer, who comes to Australia's shores one summer and picks an average Aussie girl out of the audience to ride his long board with him. When he lifts Isabel onto his shoulders to ride the wave into shore before a packed beach, it's a symbol of the seismic change that is already rippling through the nation as the rules and regulations of the 19th century give way to the anything-goes beach culture of today. // The story centres on Sydney, Australia, but moves between Honolulu, Hawaiii, Stockholm and the Olympics in 1912, and even California (where the Duke eventually goes in search of a Hollywood film career, followed by Isabel). But many more characters from history people these pages - such as novelist Jack London, and more sporting greats - as one season, one summer, epitomises the end of an era and the birth of a new one.