Daniel, at Sea

“…a novel in the great tradition – it unerringly evokes entire worlds and periods, through which the characters, wrestling with their own complexities,  move towards love… An astonishingly mature, many-layered and irresistibly sympathetic account of  real human lives lived out in the dark shadow of  one of the twentieth century’s most repressive regimes.” Simon Callow

“A beautifully written novel that gently pulls you into the hearts, the worlds and the experiences of the characters. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. ” Michael Cashman

Today in many countries around the world, the persecution of LGBTQ people is on the rise. Countries where acceptance was starting to gain ground are rolling back their laws. We must never be complacent and we must keep fighting for each life and love to survive.

It’s 2014 and retired professor Daniel Sale, 77, is the wealthy scion of a New England family, living on Round Hill, Connecticut, following the death of his wife and the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. All of his life he has harboured the guilt of being responsible for the murder of his lover, 50 years before. And now he is alone he fears the approach of dementia. Until one day, he is introduced to New York lawyer Chester Bowery and his two young daughters.

As they start to become friends, something unexpected from Daniel’s past confronts him with the bitter truth that everything in his life up until that moment, may have been a lie. He confesses to his friend the brutal end to a love story half a century before. And together with Chester he takes a journey back to 1961 to relive his experiences in Barcelona, a city recovering from war, where he became involved in a world of Catalan intrigue, poverty, resistance and love, a world far different from his New England upbringing and socialite mother.

This is an unfolding tale of an old man who, having become lost in the world, hiding from his true self, suddenly learns that life can begin at any time. He learns late in life that true love is never to be found where you expect it. It is both an elegy for a lifetime of grief and a celebration of the importance of being ourselves.

Philip Dundas was brought on a farm in Scotland, where he learned a love of books, birds and mountains. His first book, Cooking Without Recipes (2011), is a manual for self-help in the kitchen written for his widowed father. He lives with his husband and dog in London, where he runs a gardening business.  Daniel, at sea is his first novel.