This vivid story leaps from country to country, decade to decade, person to person amongst a huge cast. It feels like a theatrical performance, grounded in unromantic reality but made up of glittering big moments and magical small ones. All this framed by the contemporary world of west London in the 1990s, which drifts past Lucas as he tries to untangle the histories that have left him and his sister moored in their listing canal boat.
At one point in her life, Carla might also have wanted to be buried like the Ethiopians, in the communal way, with Antoney lying next to her, but she was very much alone in her plot. There was no epitaph in this necropolis for Antoney. He was elsewhere, in some other place. It had always troubled Lucas that he did not know where his father's grave was.