THE UGANDA SAILS WEDNESDAY
Published by Red Door Press in September 2020
Shortlisted for Retreat West First Novel prize 2018
Press Coverage in the Southern Newspapers Group January 2021 via this link
It is 1960 and Heather Fontwell needs to get to her husband William’s tea plantation as soon as possible so she books a passage on the SS Uganda. The telex announcing her impending arrival, together with their young son Johnny, comes as a complete surprise.
In Kenya, William is distracted by secretary Dorothea’s discovery that their boss has been faking invoices and organising prostitution of their estate workers. He suspects these activities may involve the broader ex-pat community and ponders an increasingly uncertain future post-independence.
Onboard the liner Uganda, Heather and Johnny make friends amongst passengers and crew, but as the ship steams through the fag end of Britain’s colonial past bigotry and petty jealousies emerge, especially with Mombasa Harbourmaster Carruthers; Heather is subjected to a series of unpleasant events, leaving her to face some difficult decisions alone.
The genesis of the novel was a short story featuring the Uganda in a wreckers’ yard in Taiwan. It won the Sentinel Quarterly Short Story Competition where judge Alex Keegan said that the story ‘smelled of writing in a way all judges want all stories to smell. This was the only story to move me and to resonate and linger . . . it has weight, depth, some fine detail, and . . . genuinely created an atmosphere and made me think.’
PEEK AND PURCHASE
Below is a button linking to a sneak preview of Chapter One of the novel. If you like what you read a signed copy of the book can be purchased using the button to the Square payment system for James Publishing, my sole trader company. The price is £8.99 including VAT and postage and packing (UK based customers only). After payment the book will be sent via courier. Thanks!