Will This House Last Forever?

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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, Sebastian Barker, had left Xanthi, her mother and her brother to pursue poetry and a new relationship, when Xanthi was a baby. Growing up she had always struggled to reconcile his extravagant affection - the house he built for the family in Greece, rocking horses crafted by hand, an endless stream of poems and drawings and letters - with the fact that he could not be relied upon to show up at parents' evening or to answer the phone sober after 6pm. Though theirs was a relationship defined by departures, he always returned, so why should this farewell be any different, or more final? This is a heartfelt and wholly original memoir about the pain of having to come to terms with a parent's mortality.