A GULL ON THE ROOF by  Derek

A GULL ON THE ROOF

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Derek Tangye, a London columnist, and his wife Jean, a very successful public relations gal, decided to retreat from the ""rackety happiness"" of success and the city and return to ""a way of life which belongs to the ages instead of ourselves"". Accordingly they found a ""bath-less, paraffin lit"" two room cottage in a lonely Cornish valley by the sea, 3 miles from Land's End, and in this desolate, untamed, windswept country, decided to grow a commercial flower garden and potatoes. Their obstinate struggle against the caprices of the weather, the water and particularly the wind, their sometimes disastrous losses, the attempt to apply Parkinson's law- expanding to recoup, are all part of the many years in which they struggled to survive as well as succeed; there are also hard times ahead for Monty, their cat, who hunts but is hunted- and trapped; and after a particularly bad year, when their potato crop turns to marbles, there's a new tenant- the gull on the roof said to come when ""a man is ailing"". Tangye's account is very much to the pleasures of this untouched world as well as its enduing challenge, and there are attractive linecuts by Jean all through the book. Nice.

Pub Date: March 14th, 1962
Publisher: Coward-McCann