Peterdown, an industrial town with a noble past and a lacklustre present, has been chosen as the regional hub for a soon-to-be-built, ultra-high-speed railway line. The development promises to propel Peterdown headlong into a prosperous future; but in order to get there, something from the landscape of Peterdown's past will have to be demolished. On the shortlist are the Larkspur Hill housing estate, a significant modernist landmark, and the Chapel, the raucous home of the town's football team, Peterdown United. Ellie Ferguson, an architect exiled from London, is as determined to save the Larkspur as her partner, Colin, a lifelong United fan, is desperate to save the Chapel. As they each find themselves leading increasingly passionate and opposing campaigns, their essential differences become hard to ignore.
Out of this spins an epic, wide-angle novel, rich with character and incident. Affairs are embarked upon. Conspiracies are uncovered. A broad-based popular insurgency ignites. Peterdown brings England's beleaguered streetscape to life and finds lurking there a playful and storied counterculture: mad monks and machine breakers, avant-gardists and non-conformists.
Full of warmth, comedy, character and anarchic radicalism, Peterdown is an ambitious tale about work and play, community and place, and how, ultimately, we might live in the face of history.