Houses of Stone
From the Battle of the Atlantic and the blitzed rubble of London to strife-torn Zimbabwe, House of Stone is a sweeping and dramatic tale of love and war set in the last sixty turbulent years of the twentieth century. Following the adventures, trails, achievements and passions of two generations of the Howard family, the novel begins in Second World War Britain, where young naval officer Philip Howard meets his future wife, Catherine. They go on to experience the challenges of life in Kenya during the au Mau uprising and in Rhodesia as it stumbles to become independent Zimbabwe. Meanwhile other members of the family enter into the cut-and-thrust of the publishing world as they build a trans-Atlantic multimedia empire. Fat-paced, rich in action and featuring a cast of memorable characters, house of stone is a compelling story that takes its readers from the quiet beauty of rural Britain to the grandeur of a the African landscape . this is a generous, immensely readable story.
David Bateman was born close to Plymouth Hoe within the sound and smell of the sea, an environment he loved. After national service in the army took him to Kenya and Egypt, he turned to book publishing, working in sales for the grand old Scottish firm of William Collins, Sons and Company Limited. After training in Glasgow, they sent him to Johannesburg and later to Southern Rhodesia where he opened a branch for the company and travelled widely in Southern, Central and East Africa for ten years. There, he and his wife Janet – an ex magazine editor – raised four children before he was promoted to sales manager for Collins in London.
After four years in London he accepted the post of Managing Director of Collins in New Zealand. Twelve years later, David, along with his wife, started his own publishing and distribution company, David Bateman Ltd.
In his mid – seventies, he handed over to his son and son-in law the daily running of the successful family business and, indulging his boyhood dreams, he set to novel writing. The result, after years of writing and rewriting, and working with well-known book editor Anna Rogers, is Houses of Stone. Sadly, only days after handing over his book to the publisher, David died of a stroke.