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Patrick Parker’s Progress

UK Publisher: Faber & Faber

1940, Coventry burns, but Patrick Parker, miracle baby and man of destiny, is born away from his home town, safe in London. Florence Parker, mother of man of destiny, adores him and awaits his pleasure. George Parker, father of man of destiny, who would if he could, adore him and await his pleasure, is scarcely given a look in. Patrick, born out of rubble, will be a great builder of bridges. He will admire Brunel, the world will adore him – and adoring women will smooth his planned path to greatness.

Audrey Wapshott, born in London to Florence’s friend Dolly, nine months after Patrick, will adore Patrick too. And pleasure him. But when he abandons her for a useful marriage and she takes her own random path to Paris – as a latter day Madame Pompadour – she begins to see the error of her ways – and his … It takes thirty years but in the end Audrey triumphs and Patrick – though grand as the builders of the great ziggurats of Babylon – is humbled by the marvel of enduring love.