On the larger of two islands in the southern Atlantic seas, a baby girl is born one dark winter's day, while the spin-drift wind sings strange songs around the gullies and cliffs. But Gulai's mother dies soon after giving birth and her father, Dr Orion Prosper, the only medical doctor on the island, blames himself. For days afterwards he stays locked in his room, refusing to talk to anyone. But Gulai never stops crying and her aunt is forced to seek advice from Sophia, the island's other healer, in secret. Thus begins Gulai's life on Ergo Island - betraying her father a mere ten days after her birth and becoming inextricably linked to the traditions he is working to eradicate.Left to make her own sense of the world around her, Gulai is curious to learn more about the 'witch' the islanders publicly revile but privately visit, the 'madness' which drove a young woman to her death and the secrets which lie at the heart of all their lives; secrets which will change everything once revealed. This is a beautifully written novel which evokes a strong sense of foreboding yet still catches the reader by surprise when hidden truths come to light.