Author(s): Nigel Packer
Elderly retired architect Otto Laird lives a peaceful, if slightly bemused, existence in Switzerland with his second wife, Anika. Once renowned for his radical and controversial designs, he now spends his days communing with nature and writing eccentric (and un-posted) letters to old friends. But Otto's comfortable life is rudely interrupted when he learns that his most significant and revolutionary building, Marlowe House, a 1960s local authority tower block in south London is to be demolished. Otto is outraged. Determined to do everything in his power to save the building, he reluctantly agrees to take part in a television documentary, which will mean returning to London for the first time in twenty-five years to live for a week in Marlowe House. Once Otto becomes reacquainted with the city he called home for most of his life, his memories begin to come alive. And as he explores his past, ponders his present and considers the future -- for himself and his building -- Otto embarks on a most remarkable journey, one that will change everything he ever thought he knew about himself and those closest to him. Funny, moving and heart-warming, this is a novel featuring one of the most endearing protagonists you will ever meet, whose story will stay with you long after you turn the final page.
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I raced through this book in one day. The eccentric and engaging character of the ageing Otto me gripped from the start. I was very moved by his struggle with his 'buttoned-up' nature and avoidance of a painful past. Well-written and informative on many levels, this is a novel to savour. Hilary Boyd, author of Thursdays in the Park
During an eclectic career as a writer and journalist, Nigel Packer has been a music reviewer for BBC News Online and Ceefax, a reporting officer at the International Committee of the Red Cross and a contributor to various magazines and newspapers. He lives in London.