||In the sleepy and conservative 1950s the British began a series of nuclear tests in the Montebello archipelago off the west coast of Australia. Even today, few people know about the three huge atom bombs that were detonated there, but they lodged in the consciousness of the young Robert Drewe and would linger with him for years to come.
Montebello continues where Robert Drewe's much-loved memoir The Shark Net left off, taking us into his mature years. In the aftermath of events, both man-made and natural, that have left a permanent mark on the landscape and psyche of Western Australia - the British nuclear tests in the Montebello Islands, the mining boom, and shark attacks along the coast - Drewe examines how comfortable and familiar terrain can quickly become a site of danger, and how regeneration and renewal can emerge from chaos and loss. With humility, wit and a clear-eyed view of himself, he intertwines these stories with the events of his own life. His passion for islands - which began with Rottnest Island in his youth and continues to this day - frames the narrative; in the near-solitude of these remote places, he is free to reflect. This is a moving story of what it means to see and survive destruction, to love and to grow old.