I loved the way this book gradually revealed what had happened to Joe, and pieced together his life from different viewpoints. It's also a journey of self discovery for Jo's twin, Neville, who comes from Jamaica to find out why Joe has disappeared. There are some very poignant descriptions of relationships and events and the style is subtle and gentle without diluting the very powerful messages about the experience of some Black people in contemporary London.
To her, it was unbelievable that Joe hadn't visited the island since leaving more than thirty years earlier. Was he so blissfully happy living in the English countryside that he couldn't tear himself away? It would appear that way, said Neville; from his letters, at any rate. In them, Joe had often mentioned his wife and son, and said what a good life they had. Joyce had her doubts. Being cut off from your own people was not her idea of a good life.