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Chestnut, Cherry and Kiwi Fruit Sponge: a final year to write home about by Lisa Rose Wright

September 25, 2021

I have loved all Lisa Rose Wright’s memoirs and been lucky enough to Beta read two of them, including this one. From her Camino walk travelogue, the trip which inspired her to move to Galicia to begin with, to this latest in the Writing Home trilogy, I’ve felt I was a personal friend reading her letters to her mum. Added to and embellishing these missives were her diary entries and her vivid descriptions of life in this very beautiful corner of north-western Spain.

Now I was already in awe of Lisa and her husband S’s achievements in renovating an old and ruined Spanish farmhouse, but when they finally convince Mum to move to Spain with them, they embark on renovating yet another, and maybe even more derelict cottage for her. What a couple! This then is the memoir that covers the final period of letters home until Mum comes to join them, a move followed with some lovely chapters about how she settles to life in Spain at the grand age of 83 (all this is in the blurb, so these are not spoilers). In her letters, diary and narrative Lisa describes the challenges and successes of the new project with great humour and much affection for the array of Spanish tradesmen they deal with, as well as for the charming misunderstandings of their Spanish neighbours and the (sometimes hilarious) help they received from volunteer Workaways.

It’s a rich feast of experiences for the reader that includes everything from headaches with Spanish bureaucracy to ‘downtime’ visits to fiestas, historic towns and stunning beaches.

For foodies too, there are recipes and cooking information aplenty; for animal lovers, there are triumphs and tragedies with chickens, cockerels, kittens and cats; for gardeners, there are vegetables to be grown and tips to be gleaned.

I loved it all and learnt and laughed in equal measure. This is a delightful memoir I was sorry to finish and I’m even sorrier there won’t be any more letters home (although I’m so pleased for Lisa and her mum that they are reunited). I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The link to the book on Amazon US store is here, but it’s available on all other Amazon stores. It will be released on 1 October; however, you can pre-order it now.

For anyone interested in finding out more about Lisa’s background, I interviewed her earlier in the year, a post you can read here.


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