Suspicion had been fomenting within me for some time that our family was different. Why, for example, were Pablito, my elder brother, and I dark-haired with olive skin when the rest of my classmates were sandy and pale? Why did our family have a second way of speaking, which I didn't understand? Why was ours the only home I knew where the walls were dominated with pictures of men in spangly waistcoats and tight trousers?' For Antonio, growing up Spanish in Glasgow is a nightmare — one of shame and potential embarrassment on every front. But there is no hiding his ethnicity: his noisy, bullying father, even his gentle mother and her quest for olives and exotic meats, put paid to that. It is only as he grows older, and can see his father for what he is, a reluctant exile washed up on the cold shores of Scotland, that Antonio begins to understand what terrible forces drove his father to flee 40 years before. Unravelling his father's secret life piece by piece, Antonio discovers a truth that will shock and heal him.