Edited by Richard Broad and Suzie Fleming.
©1981, 2006 Richard Board, Suzie Fleming, and Falling Wall Press Ltd; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
The diary of English housewife Nella Last's life on the Home Front during WWII. Often, a very "every day" kind of life despite the turbulent times: her anecdotes of dodging bombs in the blitz, and Churchill's speeches on the wireless, are interspersed with instructions for making custard with rationed eggs and milk, and baby gowns out of old pillowcases. I'm old enough to remember women like Nella: strong women who got their families through the war like sergeant majors with "make do" attitudes. These sketches of Nella's everyday life are interesting, but more interesting to me are Nella's revelations about her strained marriage, her views on the changing relations between men and women, and her growing dissatisfaction with her traditional role. Nella is smart, resourceful and talented - the wistful undercurrent throughout the diary is Nella's awareness that, under different circumstances, she could have been much more than "Housewife 49".
This is the most interesting memoir I've read in a long time. Nella Last has a remarkable gift for living her life to its fullest, and an even more remarkable gift for capturing her experiences, thoughts and feelings on paper. Add the setting -- a British housewife struggling to deal with her life in WWII -- and it's a five star story, read by a five star narrator.
A great book, about amazing times in World War II in England. The homefront stories. Touching. Made me, again, admire the British people for their courage and ability to stand up to the disasters of the war.
The story is the real diaries of Mrs. Nella Last and I wish that the home office did not loose so many pages. Every word is a pearl and the lose of some chapters is very sad.
This is an interesting journal written by a wife and mother of young adult sons in WWII England. Her perspective is touching. It gave me a glimpse of what it must have been to live through a time of such fear and hardships. She never complains but is always concerned about her family and friends. Definitely a good read. I found this educational as well as an enjoyable read. I wish they had found the rest of her journal entries for those missing months in 1944, but that is the only downfall of this book, and certainly does not detract from it being 5 stars in my opinion
I really enjoyed this book. It was a slow start, but by the end I wished that I could have met the author. She was a neat lady and really did detail the average person's days during World War II. Really worth the listen.
I loved listening to books during my commute to work. Maybe I shouldn't have retired!
This is an interesting story of a time in history well known to everyone, but from the perspective of a housewife. This makes it more interesting because of the focus on matters that are not always discussed in other books or on TV in documentaries.
The reason I only give this book 3 stars is because of the narration. The person reading the book annoyingly switches between a normal speaking voice and whispering *very* frequently. Since I listen to books while driving, I can't be constantly adjusting the volume and so either the volume was so loud that the book was shouted at me or I missed half of what was being said.
Otherwise, this book presented a nice personal side of this time in English history.
Homemaker, English grad., passionate reader.
I am almost at the end of this book, and I have not enjoyed a book more than this one. The reader does an excellent job of bringing life to Nella Last's personal account of World War II. I found Nella to be a woman that I could easily identify with, even when I did not necessarily agree with everything she said or did. I thought she was too hard on her husband at times, but because of her narrative, I could understand why she felt as she did. The domestic information of day to day life was wonderful to hear about, and I felt that I was in the room with Nella and her friends though time and distance separate us. This is a must read both for history buffs and for individuals interested in women's studies. It was not boring at all, and I am sorry that it has to end, though I have already decided to listen to Nella Last's Peace after this and read the last in the series on my Kindle. My admiration for what women did in the 1940's has increased greatly by listening to this account, and I think it should be a part of American history classes in our schools and colleges.
If you ever wanted to feel what living through the second war felt like, this book is for you. Nella Last lets you feel and understand her world.
Nothing happens in this book but it is an excellent story to listen to before falling asleep. When you wake up and start listening again, you won't have missed a thing! Seriously, I loved listening to this to fall asleep. The narrators voice is so soothing and sweet. Hmm, I'm getting sleepy just thinking about it.
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