W. H. Canaway, whose earlier novels have taken him farther afield (Find the Soy p. 230, 1961 and The Hunter and the Horns. p. 1074, 1962), stays closer to home in this novel of English village life. Pyro Hallett is the scion of the Manor falling to ruin since his father was disinherited for marrying his mother, when she was only fourteen, and he was a hero returned from the wars. Pyro at twenty is in the season of his discontent, one of those Angry Young Men according to Reverend Pinfold. He spends his days farming for Willy Firmin, evenings at the Antlers, focus of Windlebury nightlife, or, when he meets Dinny, in Wednesmoor. Searching for guideposts, he wants to do the Right Thing, which requires him to renounce Dinny when she wants to marry him and to marry Gianna Firmin, his real girl, after his father has made her pregnant. Everyone thinks Pyro is responsible for her condition, and the fact that he lets them think so (even after his father's death while driving to London brings further communal reproof), is the measure of his new maturity. A bouncy romp.
Young farm worker tells how he falls in love with his employer's granddaughter and of the scolding of the neighborhood "crows" when his father causes her to become pregnant.
What an utterly delightful book this is. Daily Telegraph
W.H. Canaway was born in 1925 in Altrincham, Cheshire. He was educated at Altrincham Grammar School and the University College of North Wales, Bangor, where he was awarded with a B.A. and M.A. degrees. He served in the 8th Army intelligence in North Africa and Italy during the latter part of the Second World War, before coming home to lecture at Stafford Technical College. After ten years of this, he committed himself to full-time writing. He wrote fifteen novels, including Sammy Going South, a book that was translated into a dozen languages and was made the Royal Command Film Performance of 1963. He was also a keen angler and wrote two highly regarded fishing books, as well as many articles for The Fishing Gazette. However, it is probably as a screenwriter that he is best remembered - The Ipcress File (starring a young Michael Caine in 1965) being amongst his credits, as well as TV series such as Brendon Chase and Dan, Badger and all the Coal. He died on 22nd May 1988, whilst still working on a film version of an earlier work, A Declaration of Independence.
Books by W H Canaway