1792. Nantucket whalers are invited to found the port of Milford Haven in Wales. What does the arrival of these hardy Quakers – immigrants to America a century before – mean for the local people? And what is the meaning of the beached whale that preceded them? Two cultures rub against each other and distrust grows, driven by the local preacher. As Whaling unfolds concern swerves into hysteria against the incomers and the preacher plans a grotesque, Jonah-inspired fate for the whalers.
Nathan Munday’s debut novel is an exciting mélange of original fiction, historical writing and whaling images. In it he explores our relationship with the natural world, the boundary between faith and superstition, and the age old problem of immigration. Set in historical fact this is a narrative at once modern and contemporaneous, the writing rich in imagery and deceptively tense as its story slides into allegory.