I rarely read factual literature, for some reason I always anticipate clichéd autobiographies and overly heavy historical texts that just don’t do it for me. But when Tessa Hainsowrth’s latest book Home To Roost found it’s way to me I was surprisingly curious. It’s the third in a series of books that Hainsworth has written charting her journey from a busy career lady in Central London to a post lady in rural Cornwall.
Home To Roost follows Tessa’s life three years after she first moved to Cornwall. She’s happily settled, loving the local people, adjusted to their way of life and each day means fresh discoveries of the surrounding wildlife. When new next door neighbours move in from London she is thrilled, this means more friends and the chance to help some fellow former city dwellers settle into this new way of life. But whilst Cornish life seems to fit Tessa and her family like a glove, neighbours Kate and Leon don’t seem quite so at home. Tessa finds herself torn between welcoming the new neighbours and also staying true to her new Cornish principles.
On top of this her and her family have decided to run a B&B for some friends to help out and earn some extra money, but they will soon learn that some things aren’t as easy as they seem.
Whilst the book has a solid story at it’s core I found the soul and heart of the book lay in Hainsowrth rather philosophical musings on how her new Cornish home has changed her mentality and way of life. Hainsworth describes for the reader one woman’s extraordinary life transformation and a very inspiring story that seems to tell us that no matter what role we have in life or how set in stone our world seems to be, we can change our lives and be anything we want to be.
As a city dweller myself I often find myself looking around at my hectic surroundings and thinking how seriously we all take life. In Tessa’s world it’s ok to be late for an important event, the world doesn’t end, life goes on and people understand. There’s no rude mad dash for the tube but rather a more gentle pace of life that takes in and absorbs the beauty of the word.
The change from fast paced business woman can’t have being an easy one, especially as Tessa’s financial life drastically changed but Cornish life seems to have allowed her to appreciate more than money and possessions. I’m usually such a stress head myself, occasionally finding myself running to work, bumping into people and generally thinking the world will end if I don’t get somewhere asap. After a few chapters of Home To Roost I started to take on some of Tessa’s thinking and actually take things slow, bemusing myself at how unnecessarily worked up I get at the simplest things.
So the book had quite an unusual effect on me. I wasn’t so much blown away by the style of writing or the uniqueness of the story but I was touched by the simple and endearing message at the heart of the book. Perfect holiday reading.