'Since I lost the baby, you and I have been so close together that we have been almost a single person'
Janet Alexander returning by sea to the Caribbean with her husband 'Twice' finds their domestic harmony threatened by the emotional problems of the two young people aboard.
Ashore at St Jago the shipboard characters find themselves at the centre of a fast-thickening plot, with Friends old and new joining in against the colourful background of Carnival and sugar-harvest, regattas and plantation life.
And on land or sea is Cousin Emmie herself, dominating the scene in her shapeless dresses with her voracious appetite and her uncanny ability to get at the heart of a problem.
Born in Scotland in 1910, Jane Duncan spent her childhood in Glasgow, going for holidays to the Black Isle of Inverness. After taking her degree at Glasgow University she moved to England in 1931, and when war broke out she was commissioned in the WAAF and worked in Photographic Intelligence.
After the war she moved to the West Indies with her husband, who appears as 'Twice' Alexander in her novels. Shortly after he husband's death, she returned to Jemimaville near Cromarty, not far from her grandparents' croft which inspired the beloved 'Reachfar'. Jane Duncan died in 1976.