Nella Last's War established a housewife and mother from Barrow-in-Furness as one of the most powerful and moving voices of the Second World War, and inspired the award-winning television drama Housewife, 49 (starring Victoria Wood).
In this next installment of her unique diaries, Nella Last describes how ordinary people rebuilt their lives after the war was over. While the Allies' victory was a cause for hope and celebration, much anxiety remained. In her sensitive and playful account of daily life in the austerity years, written like her diaries for the Mass Observation project, Nella Last captures the thoughts and feelings of post-war Britain.
©2009 Trustees of the Mass Observation Archive; ©2009 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
After falling in love with Nella Last's War, I desperately wanted more of the story. This continues in the same tone as Nella and her community try to adjust to life in post-war England. So wonderful.
I guess I had never thought much about what life would have been like after WWII in England. Nella Last is one wonderful person, someone I wish I had known. Her diary is so vivid, makes you feel like you have been there! Great foolow up to Nella Last's War. Wish there was more!
"Nella lives on!"
Nella Last had an extraordinary talent for writing. She managed to make her every day experiences interesting, with sharp insights into her own and others' characters. She also had wonderful powers of observation and description, painting pictures with words of people, places and day to day events. The diary is, by turns, amusing and moving and paints a vivid picture of post war life in Britain.
Carole Boyd's reading and characterisation of Nella are outstanding. The only reason I've not given the book 5 stars is because of several examples of sloppy editing, where some of the text is repeated. In all other respects this is a wonderful listen - especially for anyone with an interest in social history - or just people. If you enjoyed 'Nella Last's War', you'll love this. If you've not heard that yet - DO!!
"Satisfying Follow-Up to Nella's War Diary"
I read Nella Last's War about 2 years ago and waited until now to follow up with the post-war diary. Nella was an amazingly assiduous diarist, and through her eyes, we see small details of domestic life: the meals, the means of making the meals, the household chores and the crafts. Also, family life in an era that is within living memory but still now feels as if it was 200 years ago, so lost is much of that time in social history.
In this volume, unlike the war years diary, there are almost no references to historical events, not even UK events, let alone overseas insights. The war is over and the horizons once more seem to lower. The war years volume is also very much rooted in the domestic, but the backdrop, of course, world-wide conflict. Now we are closed down again, into the post-war routine for women of Nella's age, class and habits. This routine is a mix of wartime rationing and shortage, at the same time as moving - very slowly - into a period of greater availability of food and goods (she gets a 'fridge - as a Christmas/birthday present; her husband gets a new car and later, has a car radio installed).
There is an increase in the sense of wistfulness about Nella's postwar diaries. She was both intensely and quietly happy in her role of mother (thought the boys are far away) and wife. She was a good housekeeper. Yet also, she was frustrated in many ways and this heightens in this second volume, because there is little (almost none) of the important voluntary work that she and so many others did during the war.
It is an interesting, insightful and gentle listen, which I enjoyed very much. It is also beautifully read by Carole Boyd (la Snell of The Archers fame).
"Nella's Last Peace"
Beautifully read and written. A diary of post war Britain (that's the Second World War) Brilliant!
"Nella Last's Peace"
I found this a fascinating insite into life of this period and also enjoyed the journey of her family life. I saw, 'Housewife 49', on the TV but now find the need to also listen to Nella Last's War.
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