Thursday, March 17, 2011

thoughts on: Henrietta's War

Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 (Bloomsbury Group)Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 by Joyce Dennys

The Henrietta letters were originally published in Sketch magazine.  Written by Joyce Dennys, who life as a village doctor's wife mirrored her own, the letters were intended to remind the troops of life at home, and also to give Londoners a glimpse of life outside the city.  They were very popular, and continued throughout the war.  I wish I could read all of them, but those published in this slender volume, and it's sequel, Henrietta Sees It Through, represent only a sampling of the letters.

Written to a childhood friend serving in the war, Henrietta shares the daily goings on of their village.  Through relating the town becoming accustomed to air raid warnings; food rationing; sewing for the troops; hosting Londoners, both the upper classes renting summer cottages and evacuees from the West End; and the suppressed fear for her own son's safety, Henrietta reveals her own foibles and frustrations with self deprecating humor.

A light, enjoyable read that still gives us a window into life during WWII.

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