It is 1895. Robert Wallis, would-be poet, bohemian and impoverished dandy, accepts a commission from coffee merchant Samuel Pinker to categorise the different tastes of coffee - and encounters Pinker's free-thinking daughters, Philomenia, Ada and Emily.
As romance blossoms with Emily, Robert realises that the Muse and marriage may not be incompatible after all. Sent to Abyssinia to make his fortune in the coffee trade, he becomes obsessed with a negro slave girl, Fikre.
He decides to use the money he has saved to buy her from her owner - a decision that will change not only his own life, but the lives of the three Pinker sisters . . .
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 30/10/2008
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780751539431