Midsummer's Day 1948, and a late iceberg is stranded off the harbour of a small Irish Catholic fishing village in Newfoundland. Under its glittering peak, the villagers shiver awake . . .
Father MacMurrough, brooding on despair. Young Mary, calling on pagan rites to conjure the name of her intended. Mute, dreamy Michael, on the dangerous brink of love. Crazy Johnny the Light, roaring at horrors seen through a bottle. Hestia, watching the sea from her rooftop. Pious young Kevin, terrorised by whispering monsters.
'Gaff Topsails' sweeps back across the immense landscape to encompass events great and small since the castaway son of an Irish monk founded the parish in the fifteenth century.