This is one of Michener's earlier works. In fact, I think it might be his first published work. Its not one of his expansive novels, traversing multiple centuries, which eventually became his forte. Instead, South Pacific is a collection of short stories, all set in or around World War II, but each in a different location within the South Pacific. Like all good historical fiction, I come away feeling like I've learned something... maybe gotten a little bit of a feel for how people lived in, say, New Zealand during World War II.