Rich, vivid and dazzlingly funny, Shena Mackay's brilliant novel opens in 19th century New Zealand. Jack Mackenzie, the Presbyterian minister newly arrived from Scotland with his unhappy wife, enjoys the pleasures, botanical and carnal, that Dunedin offers. His explusion from his naturalist's Eden has consquences he never dreams of. Decades later, in London, his grandchildren, middle-aged and with life evaporating before them, search for love. Olive, embittered and lonely, tries to find it with Terry, an ambitious young writer in flight from his aged parents' mobile home, and more dangerously, with a baby she snatches on a crowded tube train. Her brother William, dessicated with grief for the death of a former pupil, has abandoned his job as hedmaster. There is also Jay Pascal, a young New Zealand va grant of mysterious parentage, whose homelessness leads to a terrifying incarceration.