Johnny Flood was a third generation away from his famous ancestor, but the pull of the African coast was strong in him, though in other ways he resembled the family little. At 14 he ran away to sea, and had his first taste. A few hard won years in his uncle's shipping business won final reward in a mission to the Gold Coast, a dangerous mission into the interior to find the reasons behind the failure there. His eager desire to treat the natives differently- to make Africa what he felt it might be, he took back to England, and at the close of the story- as he takes his part in the Ashanti wars, his fight is for better conditions all around. The romance with Emily- its needless frustration- his marriage and its outcome, play second place to the drama of empire. Marguerite Steen writes like a man; there's occasionally terriffic impact to scenes in the sun, recalling the earlier book, The Sun Is My Undoing. The pace of action seems slower in this; there's a sprawling sense of life spanning Bristol, England, and West Coast Africa. At times, the thread of plot is submerged in the plethora of color, and background. But for the market that revels in sweeping canvas and family sagas and novel backgrounds, this story of the 1890's will hold them. Big publisher promotion.