Jeff Siegel's fascinating book provides a sociolinguistic history of language contact in Fiji where, from the 1860s until 1920, some 90,000 labourers from other Pacific islands and from India worked on the European-owned plantations. It focuses on the pidgins and other language varieties developed to meet the needs of peoples from different linguistic backgrounds and different cultures, and it brings a new standard of coverage and comprehensiveness to the notion of the 'life cycle' of pidginization and koineization. Importantly, it also includes data on the linguistic situation that is the legacy of the plantation era. The study is therefore a valuable contribution to our knowledge of an area that has been relatively neglected in sociolinguistics. At the same time, it is a far-sighted and lucid contribution to the continuing and controversial debates about the origins and structure of pidgin languages and about other sociolingustic phenomena that result from language contact.