Alexander Maclean grows up in the conservative society of Apartheid South Africa.
The conflict between his sexual orientation and his Christian faith dominates much of his life. So too does his struggle against the increasingly savage grip of alcohol addiction.
Unable to resolve these tensions, and frequently defeated by his struggle against alcohol, Alexander travels back and forth between Britain and South Africa. He also spends time working in the Mediterranean and the Far East.
This is at times a harrowing story of an unconventional life, but despite the depths to which he sometimes sinks, Alexander never quite loses an almost childlike innocence and joy in life, and perhaps it is these qualities which ultimately prove to be his redemption.
The reader experiences the heat and dust and aromas and burning sun of the African tropics; the cosmopolitanism of London; the depravity of pre-1994 Johannesburg; the fresh, wind-blown, wave-tossed seas off the Cape Peninsula; and the wild beauty and isolation of a high, lonely glen in the West Highlands of Scotland.
It is in just such a lonely West Highland glen that Alexander comes to know peace at last.