In 1879 the dysfunctional Peacock family are living alone on a beautiful island in Oceania. Driven by the relentless vision of the patriarch, the intolerant, obsessive Mr Peacock, the family attempt and fail to tame paradise and make it pay. A boat full of Pacific Islanders appears, and the family’s struggles ease for a time as the newcomers help with their project. However, when one of the children goes missing, the island’s sinister secrets are slowly revealed. A mesmerising portrait of a family unravelling.
Mr Peacock’s Possessions (Zaffre £12.99) by Lydia Syson, set on a remote Pacific island in the 1880s, is an absorbing exploration of a daughter’s disillusion with her father’s dreams of freedom.