Helena Drysdale was leaving for Madagascar when family papers revealed that her ancestors traded there during the 19th century. There were hints of piracy and slave trading. Madagascar was not their only haunt. There was also Zanzibar with its plump sultans and the Comoro Islands. Helena and her photographer husband, Richard Pomery, set off to follow in their wake and find any lingering family connections. Their four-month journey takes them from old colonial Mombasa to the labyrinthine alleys of Zanzibar, from Moslem ceremonies of "second marriage" in the Comoro Islands to ancestor-worship in Madagascar and annual exhumations of the dead. They are travellers in a traveller's world: everyone comes by sea from somewhere else; everyone shares ancestral dreams of leaving and arriving. The story is an exploration not only of the wilder parts of these Indian Ocean Islands, of their culture and history, but also of our relationship with our ancestors.