It did not take long to realize that this book is not worth spending time reading. For some reason, I did anyway, though. Why in the World it was short-listed for the James Tait Prize, or how the author could have possibly be an English professor is beyond me.
The way in which it is written is bad enough; it does not even build up to the plot. The only background information it provides before the crew starts throwing the slaves overboard is that the doctor had expired a few weeks prior from the epidemic---in no way at all does it describe what the epidemic was, symptoms or otherwise.
Moreover, why do all authors try to associate women with earthiness? Mintah (the heroine of the story) goes on & on about how she is wood, she is one with the wood, or she was one with the water, the water she is. If I wanted to read that, I would have chosen to read a book on Paganism instead.