… 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!