Friday, 24 June 2016

Read in 2016 - 19: Home to Roost

"Home to Roost" by Tessa Hainsworth is the third and last book about her life as a postwoman in Cornwall. You can find my reviews of the first and second books here and here

We're back with Tessa and her family for their third year in Cornwall. By now, life has found a pleasant rhythm; husband and wife are busy but without any of the stress they used to have in London. Of the children, we learn little; they seem to just happily tag along and lead their healthy country lives surrounded by friends. 

Once again, the change of seasons, the landscapes of Cornwall, its villages and small towns, farms, animals and people are described well. I've never been to Cornwall myself but imagine these books must hold special appeal to someone who knows and loves it. 

Once again, Tessa gets up to a special adventure on top of her job: In the previous book, it was growing her own vegetable; this time, she discovers the joys of running someone else's B&B for a short time and renting out her own house. 
For someone who used to have a high-profile career which certainly required plenty of organizational and other skills, Tessa and her husband go about their endeavours in a surprisingly naive manner. I've never run or worked at a B&B myself, but having stayed in them many times, I have no trouble envisioning the work involved - much more than "just" serving breakfast! 
More than once while reading this book, I silently shook my head at how little forethought seemed to be going into many of what the family do. 

 Also in this book, a couple of newcomers arrive from London. Tessa and her husband, originally having come from the big city themselves, sympathize with a lot of what their new neighbours experience. Are they going to be friends? 

Then there are the recurrent characters of Tessa's customers, co-workers and other people she meets, both at work and in private. By now, she knows them well, and friendships have developed based on mutual trust and community spirit. She has causes for worry about them as much as joy. 
Of course, Tessa's best friend Annie appears again, too. I found her news towards the end of the book a little too predictable to believe in Tessa's delighted surprise, but maybe it's just me. 

 All things considered, I still liked the first book best, and felt a tiny bit disappointed with this one. Don't get me wrong, it was still an enjoyable read; not brilliant (neither does it aim to be, I suppose), but nice enough. 
 In real life, the author has given up working as a postwoman after 3 1/2 years. I suppose she does not need to do that job anymore, having become a published author with her books selling well and being endorsed by the Cornwall Tourist Office. Therefore, the mini series suitably ends here.

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