For over thirty years, Goerge Grey has been a ship bunker in the west African nation of Montedor, a land of malaria and political upheaval. But now he's returning to England, to a life and world essentially foreign, and to the terra incognita of retirement. In the long days that follow it's almost impossible not to get lost in melancholy memories - all the more acute since the woman he loves is back in Africa - but with the help of a sailing boat and a burgeoning friendship with the quirkiest woman in town, the ache of loneliness begins to ease.
'Jonathan Raban's achievements in this novel are nothing short of awesome' Washington Post
'Raban has a wonderful gift . . . These characters seem to index an entire civilisation' Voice Literary Supplement