“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...”see full review » see other reviews »
“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. ”
“funny but5 not too helpful in writing my own novel. However it does give a flaovor of regular people going on about their lives during war.”Margaret D wrote this review Wednesday, August 24, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Very funny! Wry and humorous observations from a village in Devon during WWII. Just the antidote to too much Jane Austen! A very quick read, but worthwhile. Charming!
The notes say that Dennys wrote these letters/stories out of a sense of frustration with domestic & rural life. I hope they brought her some relief because they are funny without being mean and show the good side of village life in England during World War II. Some of the other books I've read were more depressing, which has its place and is realistic, but life isn't unremitting misery...is it?
PS My favorite Dickensian name is Whinebite.”
“very enjoyable”Juanita S wrote this review Friday, January 21, 2011. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I truly enjoyed this book. The outside is very pretty and fooled me. I had no idea it was going to be such an enjoyment to read this funny book. The entire book reads as several letters wrriten between 1939 and New Year's 1941. If I have one complaint, it is that I wish she had written more, why not the entire war?
The letters are supposed to be addressed to an old friend of Henrietta's that she has grown up with, a soldier named Robert, that serves on the front. She has promised him to not write about the war and burden him with sad things when he obviously is not having too much fun himself. Instead she writes about her daily life in a "safe area" in Devonshire.
Henrietta might have been like the ordinary house wife in those days. She's the wife of a country doctor that is too busy to mind what his wife is up to. Her two children are grown and serving as soldier and nurse. Henrietta tries to be the heroic woman that her country asks her to be but she fails at being brave. She fails most things as a matter of fact. Dig for Victory is one of the things she is supposed to do but how can she when she has no talent for gardening? Through the book she tries her hand at several things and takes all new regulations with stride. Almost longing for invasion or bombs to fall so that she can prove herself. Her hardest hardship is to not get to be in a pretty uniform or feeling useful when everyone else seems to be doing their bit.
It's a funny book, hilarious at times because the village is so full of original characters. I truly recommend this book and I am glad that Bloomsbury has decided to publish old gems like these. They are probably all wholesome. There are several more like this in a sort of series. Readers choose for readers.”