Jaffy Brown is running along a street in London's East End when he comes face to face with an escaped circus animal. Rescued by Mr Jamrach - explorer, entrepreneur and collector of the world's strangest creatures - the two strike up a friendship. Before he knows it, Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the Dutch East Indies. His journey will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.
Carol Birch's epic novel brings alive the smells, sights and flavours of the nineteenth century, from the docks of London to the storms of the Indian Ocean: a gripping exploration of our relationship to the natural world and the wildness it contains.