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Review by Richard Moss
The Seagull Hotel offers a fascinating, moving and heart-warming first hand account of the struggles of two young mothers widowed during World War II. Told with candour and humour we hear about the conditions at the time and about the characters who worked at the hotel, and those who were guests. How would you turn a semi-derelict building into a thriving business when just getting hold of linen, furniture and food needed a special sort of daring and guile?
Review by Jane Dunbar
A truly inspiring book. A story of perseverance in the face of amazing difficulties., in which the author manages to infuse one disaster after another with humour.
Oh how I enjoyed it.
Amazon review by Mrs Rivers
I have just romped through The Seagull Hotel in 3 sittings- I loved it!
What a very special woman Kirstine was, so full of determination, courage and enthusiasm, undaunted, it seems by anything. Reading her story, she emerges as a precursor to 60’s feminism; widowed towards the end of WW2, mother of two small children with virtually no money, she navigates a path through what was then very much a man’s world of bankers and builders, discovering en route the thrills and spills of the black market in order to beat the post-war rationing system. With her friend Gerdy, also a young widow with children, she battles to establish The Seagull Hotel not just as a viable business but also as a loving home for the two families. What could have been just another drab seaside hotel on the English coast develops into a truly creative enterprise and becomes widely known for its excellent gourmet food. This splendid book is a hymn and testament to these two young women who refused to let misfortune, or men, get the better of them but don’t get the idea that it is in any way heavy going or gloomy. It is written with a lightness of touch, masses of humour - I laughed till I cried over the chapter about her mother - and, above all, humanity.
Amazon review by nettiek50
This is a beautifully written memoir
About two young widows struggling in a male dominated post war era.
A very easy and enlightening read. Parts of Exmouth remain the same to this day.