This was set in December 23, 1787, Deptford on the south bank of the river Thames. A 15-year-old boy, Billy, has got into trouble with the police on one too many occasions and is about to be sent to prison when an offer is put to him - a ship has been refitted over the last few months and is about to set sail with an important mission. The boy who was expected to serve as the captain's personal valet has been struck down with an illness and a replacement must be found immediately. The deal is struck and he finds himself onboard, meeting the captain, just as the ship sets sail. The ship is HMS Bounty, the captain is William Bligh, and their destination is Tahiti.
John Boyne was born in 1971, lives in Dublin and is a full-time writer. He was writer-in-residence at the University of East Anglia on the MA in Creative Writing course and spent many years working as a bookseller.