Rosie, Bara, Gerry & Tom

Rosie, 24, daughter of a Herero mother and a Cuban soldier, is a refugee from Namibia. She lived with Tom, 42, a down-and-out sculptor, in a North London squat for some weeks when Tom runs into his old friend Gerry.

Tom spent years with Gerry, 52, in Southern Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Their chance meeting triggers Tom’s decision to visit Gerry at his home in Bray-on-Thames. There Tom meets Gerry’s wife Bara, 33, who Gerry just deserted. Then Gerry meets Rosie.

Bara lets Tom stay in her spare room and they become lovers. Together they start an art gallery. Bara gets elected as a local councillor and later becomes an MP.

Rosie, Bara, Gerry & Tom: A novel shares the lives of this foursome from 1995 to 2016. The ramifications and consequences of their chance meetings include a fateful visit to Namibia by Rosie and Gerry; the imprisonment of Gerry for fraud; and Tom ending up homeless again, when Bara sells their home and the gallery, and goes to live in Italy with her girlfriend.

Peter Wood Cotterill was born at Bexley in Kent, and lived in London and Essex during the World War II blitz. His father was killed by a Nazi bomb in 1940. “My mother and I, with my younger sister, were evacuated in 1944 to near Skegness on the sea coast in Lincolnshire to escape the ‘doodlebug’ raids. We moved to Withersfield in West Suffolk in 1947. In 1951, I emigrated alone to central Africa, where I lived and worked for some 12 years. Since 1976, I have lived in a 17th-century cottage in rural Hampshire.” For 25 years, he was trustee of an innovative education charity founded by his wife.

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