‘Here is an unsentimental memoir of exceptional quality. Reminiscent of Laurie Lee and H.E. Bates, each chapter is peopled with vivid and earthy characters who gravitate around the ponds and rivers that flowed through Dexter Petley’s life.
Soon after Dexter Petley began writing down his observations of people on the borders of rural Kent and Sussex during the 1960s and 70s he realised that his stories were acquiring a broader significance.
Between the riverbank where he taught himself to fish and the secondary modern where gardening and small-holding were on the curriculum, he witnessed the lives of a demobbed generation who were still adjusting to life in post-war Britain, surviving hand to mouth, eking out a living mending cars, recycling scrap metal or hop-picking. This fractured landscape, carried like an heirloom since boyhood, has allowed Petley to untangle the fragments of his own life, from the loss of his first love to the nomadic existence he has been living ever since, in London, Africa and France.’ – Little Toller
‘. . . a spell-binding rollercoaster of a book, suffused with elemental vigour and reluctant poignancy.’ Country Life
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