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Up with the Larks: Starting Again in Cornwall: My First Year as a Seaside Postie

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A warm-hearted, feel-good and funny account of the author’s escape from the rat-race, with her actor husband, and her first year as a mail deliverer in a Cornwall seaside town. It’s a book about friendship and finding out what is important in life.


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A warm-hearted, feel-good and funny account of the author’s escape from the rat-race, with her actor husband, and her first year as a mail deliverer in a Cornwall seaside town. It’s a book about friendship and finding out what is important in life.

30 review for Up with the Larks: Starting Again in Cornwall: My First Year as a Seaside Postie

  1. 4 out of 5

    Clare Coffey

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The main reason is that Tessa is a brilliant writer and is based on actual facts! This book is crying out for a tv adaptation and hopefully Tessa would do the screenplay! I recommend this book to friends and colleagues alike. The description of people is excellent and the description of Cornwall in all weathers is truly amazing. For any Americans reading this review, please read this book and you will see that not all Brits are Brideshead Revisted types.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Up with the Larks: I laughed, I cried, I hated to put it down..... We can read all the back-to-simplicity blogs on ZenHabits, on Minimalist, on TheSimpleLife, etc., but what does it feel like to live it? What are the trade-offs, what is the reward? I found this a restorative story, a renewal book, and yes, a frolic book. The hard parts are given their hulking due, but the rewards are detailed--people, flowers, skies, seas, and the favor at the bottom of the box is the mindfulness that brings hap Up with the Larks: I laughed, I cried, I hated to put it down..... We can read all the back-to-simplicity blogs on ZenHabits, on Minimalist, on TheSimpleLife, etc., but what does it feel like to live it? What are the trade-offs, what is the reward? I found this a restorative story, a renewal book, and yes, a frolic book. The hard parts are given their hulking due, but the rewards are detailed--people, flowers, skies, seas, and the favor at the bottom of the box is the mindfulness that brings happiness, the relationships that feed the soul, nature's healing--they are all painted in delightful detail. There is a sparkle to Hainsworth's style that makes me want to read her other books on life in Cornwall, and the choice to go from Body Shop International Exec to rural postie is huge and very affirming. Highly recommended for anyone who has ever thought about going to a simpler life......

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    This made me giggle at times. Having only lived in West Cornwall for 2 years, I could really relate to this book. I'm feeling very aware of my Farrow and Ball painted walls at the moment. I wonder if my postie knows what colours I've used, lol. This made me giggle at times. Having only lived in West Cornwall for 2 years, I could really relate to this book. I'm feeling very aware of my Farrow and Ball painted walls at the moment. I wonder if my postie knows what colours I've used, lol.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    I enjoyed this book - I love Cornwall and was rather envious of Tessa making her dream come true. Can't wait to visit Cornwall again after reading this book! :) I enjoyed this book - I love Cornwall and was rather envious of Tessa making her dream come true. Can't wait to visit Cornwall again after reading this book! :)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Bart

    Having grown up in Cornwall, this was a comforting read. As a youngster I couldn’t wait to leave the county, life was too slow - so I moved to London, which after a while was too much and so needed to take restorative annual breaks to recharge and visit family and friends. Older now, I’m reconsidering my outlook : ‘maybe that simple, slower life could be enough?’ And so here I be! The narrative is simple, hopeful and reassuringly restful. It reminds me of The Salt Road - another great comfort rea Having grown up in Cornwall, this was a comforting read. As a youngster I couldn’t wait to leave the county, life was too slow - so I moved to London, which after a while was too much and so needed to take restorative annual breaks to recharge and visit family and friends. Older now, I’m reconsidering my outlook : ‘maybe that simple, slower life could be enough?’ And so here I be! The narrative is simple, hopeful and reassuringly restful. It reminds me of The Salt Road - another great comfort read. I’m going to read the next book in the series - I think that’s recommendation enough. (One thing that’s annoying is she’s changed the place names - although based on descriptions and the naming I think I can work it out : “Creek” - is she talking about Gweek?)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Up with the Larks is the first book by Tessa Hainsworth about her transfer from the rat race as a marketing manager at a well known cosmetic company to a local postie in a Cornish village. This is all based on fact and has obviously been worked with the produce something which is part autobiography, part travel book and part novel which works extremely well. I look forward to the next part of the tale in her follow up novel, and long may they continue with the warmth and humour that Tessa has inj Up with the Larks is the first book by Tessa Hainsworth about her transfer from the rat race as a marketing manager at a well known cosmetic company to a local postie in a Cornish village. This is all based on fact and has obviously been worked with the produce something which is part autobiography, part travel book and part novel which works extremely well. I look forward to the next part of the tale in her follow up novel, and long may they continue with the warmth and humour that Tessa has injected into the whole book. Despite the days she has to face the biting cold wind or the icy rain!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Denita

    What a great read. Tessa Hainsworth and her family decide to move to Cornwall from London after leaving her stressful job. All does not go to plan with a business they thought they could start up so Tessa gets a job as a postie. Each chapter begins under the heading of the month of the year starting in November. She gives us an account of her first year there where we meet her workmates and the people she delivers the mail to. There are two more books in the series which I am eager to read. And What a great read. Tessa Hainsworth and her family decide to move to Cornwall from London after leaving her stressful job. All does not go to plan with a business they thought they could start up so Tessa gets a job as a postie. Each chapter begins under the heading of the month of the year starting in November. She gives us an account of her first year there where we meet her workmates and the people she delivers the mail to. There are two more books in the series which I am eager to read. And yes - this would make a brilliant TV series!

  8. 5 out of 5

    I Sawkins

    Very enjoyable read. I loved this book, I was a postman up country for over 15 years, before moving to Cornwall. So, much of what Tessa writes I can relate to in the job. Also moving to Cornwall was a real eye opener to not only a different life, but a different world, one that I am still in awe of, even after 17 years here, and married to a proper Cornish Maid. I can't wait to read Tessa's next book. Very enjoyable read. I loved this book, I was a postman up country for over 15 years, before moving to Cornwall. So, much of what Tessa writes I can relate to in the job. Also moving to Cornwall was a real eye opener to not only a different life, but a different world, one that I am still in awe of, even after 17 years here, and married to a proper Cornish Maid. I can't wait to read Tessa's next book.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Marie McGrath

    I had just moved to Cornwall (after 20 years overseas) and someone bought me this book as a gift. I really enjoyed it reading about this family's experience of leaving the 'rat race' in London and choosing a slower pace and more healthy life. Life affirming and positive read but down to earth about the challenges too. I had just moved to Cornwall (after 20 years overseas) and someone bought me this book as a gift. I really enjoyed it reading about this family's experience of leaving the 'rat race' in London and choosing a slower pace and more healthy life. Life affirming and positive read but down to earth about the challenges too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Staddon-Phillips

    A lovely read and as a born and bred Devonian I could understand the walls Tessa came up against. It was interesting to read from an 'incomers' point of view. Beautiful descriptions of the flora and fauna of Cornwall A lovely read and as a born and bred Devonian I could understand the walls Tessa came up against. It was interesting to read from an 'incomers' point of view. Beautiful descriptions of the flora and fauna of Cornwall

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jan

    I've finally given up on this one. It wasn't gripping me. I've finally given up on this one. It wasn't gripping me.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    Didn't get into this book. By page 60 nothing of interest had really happened. Yawn! Didn't get into this book. By page 60 nothing of interest had really happened. Yawn!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Julie Hudson

    Very easy, light read to give me encouragement with our move to the west this year!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zara

    good book this is a move I dream of often

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nola

    Interesting account of a young couples move from London to the Cornwall coast, totally out of their comfort zones but loving the laid back lifestyle, something I'd like to do. Interesting account of a young couples move from London to the Cornwall coast, totally out of their comfort zones but loving the laid back lifestyle, something I'd like to do.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Clara Lewis

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Tessa. I was engrossed and so comfortable reading it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Gail Danks

    Fantastic insight into Cornish life especially from the view of outsides

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Very easy read, nice little story

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Gentle read. Doesn't really 'go' anywhere, but doesn't need to. If you like slow paced easy reading with lifelike characters, this is the book for you. Gentle read. Doesn't really 'go' anywhere, but doesn't need to. If you like slow paced easy reading with lifelike characters, this is the book for you.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Enjoyed this as an audio book. Interesting characters.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    I loved reading Tessa’s stories bringing to life the various characters she has met and how she and her family felt as outsiders moving to Cornwall. I have wanted for many years to make the move myself but for various reasons this has not been possible. I really hope that one day I will be able to make in the move but in the meantime I enjoy being transported into her life and am looking forward to reading the next book to see how her life continues.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Just finished Up With The Larks...Starting Again in Cornwall, the memoirs of Tessa Hainsworth. A warm blanket of remembrances of Tessa's first year in Cornwall and becoming a postie. While she takes us through her trials and tribulations of getting grounded in her new country life, she allows us a look into her new found village life. We meet the others living there and almost become friends with them too. Tessa is dubbed Mrs. Posh Postie on her rounds but a year living in her cottage and partic Just finished Up With The Larks...Starting Again in Cornwall, the memoirs of Tessa Hainsworth. A warm blanket of remembrances of Tessa's first year in Cornwall and becoming a postie. While she takes us through her trials and tribulations of getting grounded in her new country life, she allows us a look into her new found village life. We meet the others living there and almost become friends with them too. Tessa is dubbed Mrs. Posh Postie on her rounds but a year living in her cottage and participating in village life proves she is far removed from the posh London lifestyle she left behind. I found myself laughing at situation or feeling so down her her in others. I think it is sharpened in the fact that we are also second homers. We have a tiny cottage in the north of Holland which is our home away from the city. I long to be able to do what Tessa did and move there to make it our home. I also understood her feeling of frustration as the emmets (tourists) clog up the roads and towns during the summer season. We have even faced a situation like hers of having to drive in reverse a long stretch of road due to a very rude male tourist who refused to let us pass once. I could really feel her emotions due to that shared common ground. The only good thing about finishing this book is there are two more books to follow. I can revisit some of the wonderful people in Cornwall with Tessa at my side.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Lee

    I saw this book last whilst on holiday in Cornwall, meant to buy it when I got home and then promptly forgot all about it! I discovered it last week, along with 2 others by the same author and bought them all. I have really enjoyed this book. Tessa tells of her move from London, to Cornwall, from struggling with a high powered job working for the Body Shop, to becoming a postwoman in rural Cornwall. It is a lovely well written book, with great descriptions of the Cornish countryside, the landscap I saw this book last whilst on holiday in Cornwall, meant to buy it when I got home and then promptly forgot all about it! I discovered it last week, along with 2 others by the same author and bought them all. I have really enjoyed this book. Tessa tells of her move from London, to Cornwall, from struggling with a high powered job working for the Body Shop, to becoming a postwoman in rural Cornwall. It is a lovely well written book, with great descriptions of the Cornish countryside, the landscape, wild life and Tessa's customers. You really care for Tessa and her family and also for her customers. One part made me cry! It is a feel good book about the families acceptance into their community! I am loving reading these books and have already started on the next one in the series. Going to Cornwall soon, so is really putting me in the mood!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Belle

    I really did enjoy this book. It was an easy read, relaxing, feel good and I absolutely love Cornwall, so the book was an all round delight. I liked that each chapter was set in a new month, so it was easy to chart the seasons and the authors progress. The book is realistic in that settling in and adjusting to a completely new life is not so easy (especially in the countryside) and I could sympathise with the author; as it can be rather lonely and it does take time to feel it is home. Her descri I really did enjoy this book. It was an easy read, relaxing, feel good and I absolutely love Cornwall, so the book was an all round delight. I liked that each chapter was set in a new month, so it was easy to chart the seasons and the authors progress. The book is realistic in that settling in and adjusting to a completely new life is not so easy (especially in the countryside) and I could sympathise with the author; as it can be rather lonely and it does take time to feel it is home. Her descriptions and love for Cornwall were beautiful and her descriptions of people are heartfelt. I almost cried near the end when thinking of Mr Harker and his thank you gift. I'm sure this book could inspire others to follow their hearts desires and make a lifestyle change to happiness. I can't wait to read Tessa's next books and hope that they will be just as enjoyable as this one.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    Once I got into it, I enjoyed it. My main purpose for reading this book was to get a feel for living in Cornwall. I thought she did a great job explaining what is happening when "second home" people are buying up the houses closer to the coast which is raising home values, making it difficult for the folks that actually live there or for those wanting to return home. It saddens me that their number one industry, tourism, is also shooting them in the foot. I am also amazed at how a postie has to Once I got into it, I enjoyed it. My main purpose for reading this book was to get a feel for living in Cornwall. I thought she did a great job explaining what is happening when "second home" people are buying up the houses closer to the coast which is raising home values, making it difficult for the folks that actually live there or for those wanting to return home. It saddens me that their number one industry, tourism, is also shooting them in the foot. I am also amazed at how a postie has to meet the needs of each individual residence. Some deliveries were very inconvenient. But being a postie, out in all kinds of weather allowed her to be in tune with nature which was just lovely.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

    I really enjoyed every page of this book. I've got "Seagulls In The Attic" on my wish list too. Its a brilliant True Story of Tessa who used to work for The Body Shop, lived in London, travelled the world and uprooted to Cornwall. She became a post lady driving her little red van to remote places and meeting Cornish charactors on the way. I especially loved this book as i used to live in Cornwall and was often called an emmett. i was told it was a type of ant that stole things and as i came from I really enjoyed every page of this book. I've got "Seagulls In The Attic" on my wish list too. Its a brilliant True Story of Tessa who used to work for The Body Shop, lived in London, travelled the world and uprooted to Cornwall. She became a post lady driving her little red van to remote places and meeting Cornish charactors on the way. I especially loved this book as i used to live in Cornwall and was often called an emmett. i was told it was a type of ant that stole things and as i came from "up country" to work, i'd stole their jobs! A must read as its sad, funny and lovely..

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    I wanted to love this book - I wanted to learn a lot about giving up life in the city and moving to the coast, but I found out that yet again you need a chunk of money behind you and to work all hours god sends which I don't know if that defeats the object of moving from the city to the coast. I also didn't like how it was assumed that people who work in London are really rich and that whistles is an affordable high street store - that straight away made me feel like I was not the intended audien I wanted to love this book - I wanted to learn a lot about giving up life in the city and moving to the coast, but I found out that yet again you need a chunk of money behind you and to work all hours god sends which I don't know if that defeats the object of moving from the city to the coast. I also didn't like how it was assumed that people who work in London are really rich and that whistles is an affordable high street store - that straight away made me feel like I was not the intended audience for the book. I liked it but I wanted to love it - it won't help you much if you want to move but it was a nice enough read.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nici Smith

    Totally agree I loathed the books unfortunately bought all three together. She knows absolutely zero about Cornwall and can’t even name roads in places she apparently visits loads of times great postie. Full of inaccuracies and just padded out rubbish not at all the life of someone who has moved to Cornwall as several of my close friends have and many many others are locals and I myself a lifelong visitor. I can make and describe most of the places she’s taking about far more accurately and so c Totally agree I loathed the books unfortunately bought all three together. She knows absolutely zero about Cornwall and can’t even name roads in places she apparently visits loads of times great postie. Full of inaccuracies and just padded out rubbish not at all the life of someone who has moved to Cornwall as several of my close friends have and many many others are locals and I myself a lifelong visitor. I can make and describe most of the places she’s taking about far more accurately and so could anyone whose been to St Ives for example for more than a day let alone lived in Cornwall and been a postie. God awful books.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I love stories of people moving from one place (city) to another (country)in this case from London to Cornwall, and making a go of it. I don't know when Tessa Hainsworth has time to write with her job of postwoman in a small Cornish village, but I'm glad she wrote her story. I'm looking forward to the next two books. This one was so enjoyable and funny. She presents the locals the way they are, but is in no way condescending. She loves them and they love her. I love stories of people moving from one place (city) to another (country)in this case from London to Cornwall, and making a go of it. I don't know when Tessa Hainsworth has time to write with her job of postwoman in a small Cornish village, but I'm glad she wrote her story. I'm looking forward to the next two books. This one was so enjoyable and funny. She presents the locals the way they are, but is in no way condescending. She loves them and they love her.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    a family leaves the hectic pace of london to live in cornwall. tessa becomes a postie. on the whole it was a great idea for a book, but just not so very well written. but some of her descriptions were good. the plot was just a bit weak. still, i enjoyed it enough to want to finish it. i'm not sure i would really highly recommend it to my friends to read. a family leaves the hectic pace of london to live in cornwall. tessa becomes a postie. on the whole it was a great idea for a book, but just not so very well written. but some of her descriptions were good. the plot was just a bit weak. still, i enjoyed it enough to want to finish it. i'm not sure i would really highly recommend it to my friends to read.

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