… and I completely fell in love with both book and author.
It was sheer luck that made me pick up Love in the Sun by Leo Walmsley, from one of the Cornish fiction shelves in the library. The cover was lovely, and an introduction by Daphne Du Maurier sold the book to me:
“”Love In The Sun” will make other writers feel ashamed. And, curiously enough, old-fashioned too. It is a revelation in the art of writing, and may be one of the pioneers of the new renaissance in the world of novels, a renaissance which shall and must take place in our time if the novel is to survive at all. While we struggle to produce our complicated plots, all sex and psychology, fondly imagining we are drawing modern life while really we are as demode as jazz and mah-jong. Leo Walmsley gives the weary reader a true story, classic in its simplicity of a man and a girl who possessed nothing in life but love for each other and faith in the future, and because of these things, were courageous and happy.
They converted an old army hut for their home, they made a garden, they grew vegetables, they used driftwood for their fire in winter, they caught mackerel for their food in summer, the sea and the soil sustained them during the long months so that the man could write his book and the girl could have her baby; and when both were accomplished life continued as before, the garden was trenched, the fishing lines were baited, fame and fortune had passed them by, but hope, and courage, and love were with them still. When we come to the end of the story, we know that the man will write other books, the girl will have other babies, flowers will continue to grow in their garden, they will go on living and loving, and creating thins because, like the plants in the soil they are the very stuff of life itself.
Yes, Leo Walmsley has filled me with shame. Our cheap artificial plots, distorting human nature to make it suit the jaded palate, must go on the scrap-heap. We are not worthy to be called writers if we cannot do what he has done in “Love In The Sun”, and show the novel-reading public that the simple thins of life are the only things that matter, and that a man’s work, and his wife, and his baby, and his plot of earth, are more important than the drama and passion of the whole world, and that the world itself is not, and never has been the merciless vortex that so many of us make it out to be, but is and always will be a place of supreme adventure.”
Now could you resist that? I couldn’t! And, as I said, I fell in love.
I was so very lucky to find that copy of Love in the Sun, as it has been out of print for years and used copies have been selling at very high prices.
And that’s why I am particularly thrilled to be able to report that The Walmsley Society is reissuing Love in the Sun at the end of this month.
I have seen that it is available for pre-order from The Book Depository, from Waterstones and from Amazon. I don’t see it on the society’s own website but I am sure you could order it direct from them.
I am so happy that such a wonderful book will be able to reach more people, and that I will be able to have a copy of my own instead of visiting the one in the library.
It’s a book that I recommend unreservedly!
I think I shall have to get a copy of this one as it sounds wonderful.
Please do Cath – it is a gem!
Oh, this sounds charming! I’ve added it to my TBR list.
It is a lovely book – I hope you get to read it soon.
This sounds wonderfully refreshing! I’ve added it to my “must read” list.
Wonderful news! I’ve been trying to find a copy of this since I read your review of it last year but have had no luck so this is most encouraging!
It’s so lovely to see a book that was so hard to get being reissued. I’m sure you are going to love Love in the Sun.
I am so excited – I have been desperate to read this since you wrote about it – *heads off to preorder*
Cornwall, love and houses – what more do you need?!
My library doesn’t have this one but does have ‘Sound of the Sea’ which is set in North Yorkshire. Have put it on my ‘save’ list. Must admit one set in Cornwall is more appealing though.
Leo Walmsley is such a wonderful writer that I would happily read anything set anywhere,It’s just that being in Cornwall the library hung on to the Cornish books and they caught my eye first. I do hope you enjoy Sound of the Sea.
I’m so pleased that this is coming out! Your review of it really did send a lot of us off hunting. Maybe you’re responsible for it coming back into print?
The Walmsley Society are steadily reissuing books, so I can’t sat that the reappearance of Love in the Sun had anything to do with me. I’m just happy to see it, and hopefully I’m going to help sell a few copies!
This sounds lovely. I’ll pre-order it. It reminds me a bit of Hans Fallada’s novel Little man what now. Do you know it? It’s a bit sad but so touching and has quite a few parallels to this one.
This looks great, there is something so simple about the description that makes all that more of a joy to discover and read. Definitely one I am going to look out for. Thanks
I managed to get hold of a copy of Love In The Sun, probably of the same sort of vintage as the one you read, and loved it too so I am very glad to hear that the Walmsley Society is re-issuing it as it is almost impossible to get hold of and never at a reasonable price!
The books set on the North Yorkshire coast are set at Robin Hood’s Bay which he called Bramblewick – a gorgeous village with a very steep hill down into the old part which is certainly a test of fitness on the way back up!
Thanks for the tip-off it sounds like a lovely book. Puts me in mind of Cider with Rosie – not the love story so much but the beautiful slow nature of simple life – book depository here I come.