“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dagenham spring

A gnarly old lemon-colored rose tree gripped a rotting trellis, fighting its way clear of the laburnum. The standard roses, of which there were several, had an easier time getting to the sun. Lined up like sentries with bulbous cockades of crinkly white and red petals, Mum's standards stood to attention right along the dividing fence between our home and the next door neighbor's.
"Look at my roses, look at the foxglove! And look, look at my potentilla!"
It was a huge sunburst of yellow.
"And my hydrangea. That'll be out soon!"
Six feet across, covered in green leafy frond-like leaves, Mum's shockingly pink hydrangea flowers would soon dominate the small garden and might even eclipse the potentilla.


ChrisJ said...

I just finished reading your book, "A Yank Back to England." I must say it is the most satisfying read I've had in a long time. I'm not sure which I enjoyed most, the absolutely accurate characters, the wonderful descriptions with equally wonderful vocabulary. Everything in the book is so authentic! I know it's supposed to be but how often does a writer actually pull that off. The descriptions of the food, the places, the people and the delightful ambiance of warmth, love and genuine affection, made this an unforgettable book. I'm not much older than you I suspect, and I'm an ex-pat, so I guess I should know. Congratulations. It's a classic.

The Prodigal Tourist said...

Chris, that is very kind of you, thank you so much. Comments like yours really mean a lot.
Denis (a.k.a. The Prodigal Tourist)