Set in Australia in 1909, the characters consist of a whaling company owner’s family and his employees. The juxtaposition is that whilst the industry is disgusting, the characters are fun! Told by the eldest daughter, Mary aged eighteen and a great storyteller, who looks after and feeds the motherless family of five and her father’s employees. There is one family sadness, but on the whole a cheerful and humorous read. I really enjoyed the book.
The stranger continued to study the painting in silence. I could see his brows knit and the muscles of his jaw tighten, and for a long time he gazed at it and said nothing. Evidently it was the first time he had seen whaling depicted in detail, and given that he had just volunteered for the job, he was experiencing misgivings. ‘There’s a lot of blood,’ he said finally. ‘Perhaps you could have shown less of it.’