01/05/2012

Home to Roost (by Tessa Hainsworth)

I hadn't come across Tessa Hainsworth, until I saw this book on the shelves at TheBookbag. I quite like semi-biographical memoirs about people who have changed their locations or lifestyles, and thought it would make an interesting light read.

'Home to Roost' turns out to be the third in a series about the author and her family transitioning from London to Cornwall. The author narrates the story from her perspective as a postwoman who is finally setting down amidst the Cornish villagers, and - at last - being accepted as one of them. She has a pleasant, light style that makes this an easy and relaxing read. The book is descriptive, and gentle.

There are far more characters on Tessa's round - many of them a little eccentric - than I could keep track of, although it didn't really matter. Perhaps, if I had read the first two books in the series, it would have been easier to remember who was whom.  The blurb on the back claims that 'a promising friendship quickly turns into a nightmare and the village is soon in quiet revolt'... I thought it rather a pity that whoever wrote that didn't actually read the book. There's a new couple who can't adjust and ruffle a few feathers in the village, while Tessa becomes a bit frustrated and wonders where her loyalties lie... but that's about as far as it goes.

The blurb also claims 'hilarious results' from another situation which could perhaps have been funny, but wasn't particularly amusing at all. I think this epitomises my problem with the book, and the reason why, despite it being a pleasant enough read, I don't feel any inclination to get hold of the earlier ones in the series.

There are some promising characters and situations... but they all peter out rather too easily with very little emotion. I realise that the book is about real people and real life, written as a memoir with names and details changed...  but more than once I found myself wondering just when the story would start.

Still, it made pleasant enough reading over a quiet weekend. It would probably make a good bedtime book, since a chapter at a time is plenty, and there's nothing that could possibly lead to bad dreams.

You can also read my longer review of 'Home to Roost' at the Bookbag site. 

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