Monique Roffey (one of our writers)
June 2013
Simon & Schuster UK

About the publication

When a flood destroys Gavin Weald's home, tearing apart his family and his way of life, he doesn't know how to continue. A year later, he returns to his rebuilt home and tries to start again, but when the new rainy season arrives, so do his daughter's nightmares about the torrents, and life there becomes unbearable.

So father and daughter - and their dog - embark upon a voyage to make peace with the waters. Their journey will take them far from their Caribbean island home, into other unknown harbours and eventually across a massive ocean. They will sail through archipelagos, encounter the grandeur of the sea, meet with the challenges and surprises of the natural world. A miraculous future lies ahead of them, unknown territories await to be discovered. But it will take more than an ocean to put the memory of the flood behind them…


Roffey reveals here in her understanding of men in extremis. As a writer, Roffey meets the challenge confidently, structuring her narrative adeptly and holding the reader's attention throughout. As the novel progresses, we are invited to condemn Gavin a little less and understand him a lot more. In his inner dialogue we catch the dilemma of a man living in a world where every action is expected to be executed perfectly and confidently, while dealing with feelings of isolation, self-doubt, fear and shame. Out on the open sea, where his decisions become a matter of life or death, we see that for all his self-loathing, he is motivated by two kinds of love an aching longing for his dead wife and a profound love for his daughter. All of which comes on top of more traditional elements of sea-faring adventure. It's a powerful story of endurance and triumph in the face of adversity, and one that also offers answers to questions of how we might respond in a rapidly changing world when things start to go wrong.

Jim Ferguson, Scotsman