*A Bookseller Editor's Choice for June 2021*For readers of GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS or MY WILD AND SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, a heartfelt and beautifully written memoir about the experience of losing a father who put poetry before family every time..
'It felt such a privilege to read this book. Raw, devastating, beautifully formed. Let's keep our eye on Barker' Daisy Johnson
'Wonderful - an elegy of sorts, yet wholly fresh and unsentimental' Sara Baume
When Xanthi Barker's father died when she was in her mid twenties, she could make no sense of her grief for a man who had been absent for most of her life. Her father, poet Sebastian Barker, had left Xanthi, her mother and her brother to pursue writing and a new relationship, when Xanthi was a baby. Growing up she had always struggled to reconcile his extravagant affection - a rocking horse crafted from scavenged wood, the endless stream of poems and drawings and letters, conversations that spiralled from the structure of starlight to philosophy to Bruce Springsteen - with the fact that he could not be depended upon for more everyday things. Though theirs was a relationship defined by departures, he always returned, so why should this farewell be any different, or more final?
WILL THIS HOUSE LAST FOREVER? is a heartfelt and wholly original memoir about the pain of having to come to terms with a parent's mortality, the way grief so utterly defies logic, and about learning to see the flaws in those that we love, and let them go.
A delicate, beautifully written story of love and grief
Barker's attempt to triangulate a void is haunting. Yet even from the depths her memories glow with life, the writing gleams with precision
The story of a relationship defined by departures... arresting and beautifully written - Bookseller