About the book
The Nautilus, a strange building shaped like the chambered shell of the same name, was built in South London in the early 1930s. Designed on Modernist and Utopian principles, it was a haven for a floating community of cosmopolitan refugees, intellectuals and artists.
Now, at the end of the century, only two of the original inhabitants still occupy their chambers – Celeste Zylberstein, joint architect with her late husband of the Nautilus, and Francis Campion, an elderly poet. Gus Crabb, a dealer in bric-a-brac, is the only other resident until, to the Nautilus, like a hermit crab seeking a home, comes Rowena Snow. Of Indian/Scottish parentage, orphaned, without family or friends, Rowena is in search of her own Utopia – or the Heligoland of her childhood imagination.
Reviewed by Denmead Reading Circle:
Not one reader enjoyed this book, many gave up reading. Unconvincing characters, (a few votes for Rowena) rambling episodes. Language often pretentious – not the language of the characters.
Star rating: *