Having been interested in the Bounty Saga as a child and into my 20's, reading this book when it came out in the mid 1970's rekindled my interest, and I am personally very involved with Pitcairn today. Contrary to most earlier books on Pitcairn that tended to portray the Pitcairners as a museum exhibit or historical artifact, Ball describes them as a modern people, with interests and a life style not unlike ours. At the time, I personally thought that his portrayal was very complimentary.
An interesting side comment, however, is that the Pitcairners themselves did NOT appreciate Ball's book, and subsequent to its publishing, he became rather a "persona non grata" on the island. Their complaint was that Ball was too friendly with the young people on the island, and based most of his book on what they told him, which did not sit well with the older, more conservative community, who felt misrepresented. That may go a long way to explain why I felt that the book made them seem very modern!