Saturday, March 17, 2012
Henrietta's War: News from the Homefront 1939-1942 by Joyce Dennys
Henrietta! What a wonderful, rounded out character. Living in a "safe area" out on the Devon Coast during World War two, this British housewife tells her story in a series of letters to a childhood friend who is overseas in the military, fighting for Mother England. But Henrietta doesn't only tell her own story, it's a sketch of an entire village, trying to go on with life as normal as refugees from London are arriving every day, rations are getting ever tighter and soldiers are doing exercises just around the corner.
This was just delightful. Clever and witty, Henrietta herself is admittedly full of faults and we laugh at her antics - her fear of loud sounds, her stuck-up little dog, her attempts at sewing and cooking. I particularly appreciate that these vignettes were written DURING the war and based on some of the author's own experiences. I found a lot to enjoy in this short work - a fresh and light look at a group of people who are trying to keep their spirits up on the Homefront.
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