(From the publisher):
Observatory Mansions, once the Orme family’s magnificent ancestral estate, is now a crumbling apartment block stranded on a traffic island, peopled with eccentrics.
Thirty-seven-year-old Francis Orme lives in Observatory Mansions with his peculiar parents and a collecion of misfits. By day he is a street performer, earning his money as a "statue of whiteness" in the park, wearing white gloves to ensure that his skin never touches anything. He steal items for his museum of significant objects (996 in all), not for their monetary value but because they have been loved, often bringing grief to their erstwhile owners. His bedridden mother, Alice, who has created for herself an alternative timeframe called "fiction," and his father, are among the occupants set apart from the rest of the busy city by their histories, their memories, and their relationships with the other seven inhabitants of the flat.
Each of the house dwellers has his or her own story, as seen through Francis's eyes, and the careful routine and harmony of the house are shaken when along comes a new resident, the half-blind, vulnerable Anna Tapp. She is sympathetic and resourceful, and slowly the desperately lonely inhabitants begin to open up their long-closed hearts. As the delicate balance of Observatory Mansions begins to shift, Francis finds himself having to protect the secrets of his past and the sanctity of his collection, while growing emotionally closer to Anna.
Original title: Observatory Mansions
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction→ Eccentric People
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics