A richly imaginative novel of love, loss, time and the rise and fall of a great maritime empire, that sends two thwarted lovers spiralling through the chaos of history.
The story begins in 1429 on Madeira, when a peasant girl meets a boy- a Jewish outsider- from a Portuguese sailing ship.
Esperanca and Emmanuel know they must part when the ship sails.
From that first meeting and parting, others follow...Emmanuel is in turn sailor, mapmaker, bookseller, jazz musician; Esperanca an illiterate peasant, a rich girl in Faro and a clever, bookish recluse who confronts a murderer in nineteenth-century Lisbon.
In twentieth-century London, Esperanca is faced with a double incarnation, one of the true Emmanuel and the other a shadow.
Over the centuries the couple face peril and tenderness.
Each life is short. What survives is love.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 368 pages, maps
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 07/03/2002
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780099433460