The unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of Virginia Nicholson's Millions Like Us: Women's Lives in the Second World War. A special multi-voice recording featuring five actresses that bring to life the hundreds of personal testimonies, diary entries and books that make up this superb study.
Read by Patience Tomlinson, Annie Aldington, Rachel Bavidge, Julie Maisey and Georgina Sutton. In 1942 Cora Johnston is grieving over the death of her young husband, torpedoed in the Atlantic; Aileen Morris is intercepting Luftwaffe communications during the siege of Malta - and Clara Milburn, whose son was captured after Dunkirk, is waiting, and waiting ...We tend to see the Second World War as a man's war, featuring Spitfire crews and brave deeds on the Normandy beaches. But in conditions of "Total War" millions of women - in the Services and on the Home Front - demonstrated that they were cleverer, more broad-minded and altogether more complex than anyone had ever guessed.
In Millions Like Us, Virginia Nicholson tells the story of the women's war, through a host of individual women's experiences. She tells how they loved, suffered, laughed, grieved and dared; how they re-made their world in peacetime. And how they would never be the same again...
©2011 Virginia Nicholson (P)2012 Penguin Books Ltd
"Passionate, fascinating, profoundly sympathetic." (Artemis Cooper, Evening Standard)
"A deeply moving account of female courage both at home and overseas during the six brutal years of war...the joy of Virginia Nicholson's book is the way she has plaited scores of individual stories into a richly textured account of the many forms that female courage can take. This story belongs to us all." (Kathryn Hughes, The Mail On Sunday)
"An acclaimed account of this period... a rich seam of social history." (Cassandra Jardine, Daily Telegraph)
"Ambitious, humane and absorbing." (Anne Chisholm, Spectator)
"Where Nicholson scores over other histories and memoirs is that her vivid narrative is set firmly in the context of the social conventions of the time...this lovely book is poignant, hilarious and inspiring." (Edwina Currie, The Times)
If you have an interest in historical minutae, what the sentiments of the day were for this era, Virginia Nicholson presents a unique viewpoint.
The variety of women interviewed, their various economic situations, and how the Second World war affected them differently. For some, it was a leg up in the world, for some, a glaring opening into reality.
Her accents were very well done, and her male officer voices brought to mind the classic slightly portly British officer.
No. As a matter of fact, some should probably be digested slowly.
There were so many things in this book that opened my eyes to what women in Britain did during the war. I had no idea there was conscription for women, among other things. Not all parts of the book were what you could say enjoyable, the degree of constant unrelenting stress from all parts of living through the times was brought home very well. Some of the jobs they did were stimulating, others so abhorant they would never be forgotten.
The different adventures of the amazing women who lived in the time. Each woman and many of the men are done by different narrators which is fabulous
The amazing women who gave so much for all of us today
Her voice is amazingly soothing and holds your attention
Just made methinks about what the women in the story went through so we could have what we take for granted today
Hollywood films of WW2 tend to sanitize the hardship families endured. This book highlights daily traumas of enemy bombing of the cities, shortage of household items we now take for granted and should be on book group lists to remind us of our social history.
One hoped for a happy ending, but wars do not always have a happy ending for many families.
The change in voice accents emphasised the different characters making them more realistic.
"HELPS THE GENARATIONS THAT HAVE COME AFTER"
AS A GRANED CHILD OF THAT GENARATION. IT WAS STILL NOT TALK ABOUT WILL THEY WERE AROUND.SO IT WAS GREAT TO LISEN TO THOES HOW WERE ABLE TO GIVE THERE STORY AND BE PAST ON SO THAT WE CAN UNDER STAND WHY THEY WERE AT TIMES SAY THIS GENARATION ADD IT BETTER AND ON A PLAIT. THANK'S TO ALL.
SORRY FOR SPEELING THIS IS WHY I GET BOOKS READ
"Nigel - Leicestershire"
Being a WW2/forties enthusiast for several years attending forties re- enactment events throughout each year I thought I had a reasonable knowledge of the home front and the role of women in WW2. Virginia Nicholson's book has enlightened me, to the critical part that women played in eventually delivering victory to the allies.
The audio book is particularly good as the different actresses are able to give voice to the women from all levels of society and the part they played. The book is comprehensive and well researched with good first hand accounts and details of the individuals lives. I certainly look at my Aunties with greater respect after listening to this book, as one served in the Land Army and the other as a munitions worker and it is interesting to think that the elderly people they are now were once the young women as portrayed in "Millions like us" who's individual efforts and experiences helped so much to win the war.
I recommend this book not only to anyone interested in WW2 but as a general read, as it sheds light on an interesting period of our history and the perception and expectation of the role of women in society during a time of conflict.
"Many things I didn't know"
This is brilliant. It gives you an insight as to how women lived and coped during the war. I shall listen to this again & enjoy it as its impossible to remember it all.
"Women who kept the wheels turning.........."
What a great and varied number of stories from women during the war - some names you will have heard off, but the majority just everyday folk getting on with their lives, sometimes in heartbreaking circumstances. They worked hard and played hard too, war was an opportunity for some of them to learn skills and take on work they would not have been considered for in peacetime. Many inevitably found it hard to return to their lives as they had been before the war.
One small comment would be that it would have been ok to have had a male actor to voice Churchill! - you wouldnt have broken the spirit of the book!
I enjoyed every second and will come back to listen to it again one day
I liked the way the stories thread through the war and post-war periods.
My nan was in the army in anti-aircraft and she used to tell us about it as a child. After she died, I wish I had listened more carefully!, this book fills in a lot of the gaps and answers a lot of the questions I would ask her now as an adult. It makes you feel like you were there, down to mundane things like the weather and lack of nylons. My Granny was a housewife, I didn't realise what they went through having thought they were not particularly active in the war, how wrong could I have been!
The story teller is good and keeps you interested in a very (perhaps slightly over-long) narrative. The voices of the women are sometimes a tad ridiculous, overdone and fake accents, but this made me smile actually and does not detract at all, hence high rating.
Great late night listening and thoroughly enjoyed.
"A thoroughly good listen."
A lesson in history I was not expecting could be so touching and so inspirational. I truly learned a lot from this book.
This is the second book I have listened to about women's experiences of the war. This is so much better, so many real experiences from diary entries. It is even a little too gruesome in parts! I really enjoyed the insight of the narration and that there was follow up of the stories post war. There is also an interesting analysis of the feminism issue, very revealing and surprising. If I was still teaching this would be a great resource.
We have an involving in site into the world of the women of the UK in WW2. This is essential reading for all interested in WW2 or social history. I never thought this would have been my bag, however i have never enjoyed and appreciated a book more this this one.
Too many to call. However Helen losing one partner after another sticks in the mind.
Helen Forrester takes a beating time and time again and keep coming back! Hero!!!
Please read/listern to this as its essential. I loved it.
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