“Reading John Searancke's superlative debut, Dog Days in The Fortunate Islands, about relocating to northern Tenerife brought back memories of my own emigration to neighbouring Gran Canaria. The only worry for John is that he risks endangering his unspoilt patch of Tenerife by being so effusive in his praise. Readers won't be able to help but follow his lead." Matthew Hirtes, author, Going Local in Gran Canaria: How to Turn a Holiday Destination into a Home
“A wry tale of discovery in retirement, plus a whole bunch of Spain and Tenerife travel capers thrown in to boot!!” Joe Cawley, author of Kindle bestseller, More Ketchup than Salsa: Confessions of a Tenerife Barman.
“I've read countless examples of 'let's move to a sunnier climate' memoirs, and it's a very variable genre. But John Searancke can write - he's a restaurant reviewer - so this one is a cut above.
And his move from England was carefully-planned, not a mid-winter whim. He's a colourful character, and knows how to tell a good tale. A lively read if you'd like to know more about Tenerife, or if you enjoy non-fiction that spans history, culture, and a realistic look at the ups and downs of a later-life move to the Canaries - the 'Fortunate Islands' of the title.”
- Elaine Scanlan, travel writer.
The Reluctant Hotelkeeper by John Searancke is an engaging memoir that takes readers into the life of the author who ended up reluctantly being a hotelkeeper, and how his rescue mission ended up being a love affair with an old building. His parents had bought the place in the countryside to save their crumbling marriage, and the author was pulled into this venture when he was just 22. The role of a hotelkeeper is not as easy as many think because the reality of life in a hotel is very different, and the hours required to make it a success are punishing. The memoir is also a tribute to all the people who worked behind the scenes and helped in making this grand transformation a huge success.
The memoir is straightforward and honest, entertaining and insightful, and the author opens up about the difficulties he faced, and how he managed to keep his faith in long-term planning. There are a lot of interesting stories about eccentric guests, how many guests who checked in should not have been seen together at all, and how it ended up being one of the favored stops for a number of celebrities. The author goes through the entire process, speaking about transforming the hotel methodically and in detail, taking readers along with him and his experiences while getting the old building renovated to cater to the needs of a modern traveler. There is not one boring moment in this memoir and the positive narration and outlook make this memoir an encouraging and motivating read. The author's story and experiences are enriching, and the ups and downs of his life and the accolades he received for the hotel and its restaurant will encourage many readers out there to become hotelkeepers.
by Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Marvellous, what a great book!
What a delightful cover! On seeing that, I just couldn't resist this book. On further investigation, the contents were amazing too. There's a lovely map of the village at the front, beautiful presentation. This is a prequel to his memoir 'Dog Days in the Fortunate Islands', but it’s not necessary to have read any of his other books first, you can still enjoy this one just the same.
This was not a short-lived thing; he had been in this business for over 35 years. The book starts where they have sold their country hotel and the new owners are now in. Then he's looking back on those years in the hotel business. Also, childhood memories-school, holidays in the Isle of Man etc.
It was a fabulously fun book. And what a hoot, a fair few chucklesome passages in here! I just seemed to keep laughing at his misfortunes! Uh oh! The things that can happen in a hotel. I love 'behind the scenes' memoirs like this! A bit of celeb gossip-without naming any names..... Beautifully English expressions. Some great word choices, it seemed like so much thought has gone into this to keep it fresh and entertaining. Or I imagine that's how he talks all the time. An experienced speaker maybe? Beautifully written. A total delight.
I finished John Searancke's book in just a day and a half and it was fantastic. He is responsible for serious lack of any sort of housework by me over the weekend-I just had to keep on reading! I've read and really enjoyed both of John Searancke's previous books. I knew this would be good-but I didn't realise just how good it was going to be! It's marvellous, what a great book.
by Julie Haigh
John Searancke is restaurant reviewer for the Tenerife newspaper Island Connections. Born in 1943 at Derby Royal Infirmary, a war baby, he lived his early life in Ashby-de la-Zouch and was sent away to be educated at Kings Mead Preparatory School, Seaford and afterwards at Rugby School. Later commissioned into the Territorial Army, he has been variously an hotel and restaurant owner, director and chairman of a marketing consortium, and latterly a partner with his wife in a commercial legal services company. He has enjoyed working in England and Switzerland, and spends time between visiting family in England, and northern Tenerife where he now lives with his wife, Sally, and their beloved dog, Freddie.