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A Spoonful of Sugar [Kindle Edition]

Brenda Ashford
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

'They say you can never truly love a child that is not your own, but that goes against every instinct that runs through me. For I have loved children born to other women all my life and every child that I have ever cared for, I've adored with all my heart. Many I would have laid down my life for, in fact on some memorable occasions when I fled to air raid shelters clutching my charges to my chest, I very nearly did.

In 62 years of being a nanny I have lost count of the number of children I've cared for, but it must be approaching 100. Which means I am inordinately proud to say that despite never having actually given birth I have 100 children. How many women can say that?'

Brenda is 91 years old and spent 62 years working as a Norland Nanny. Just like a real-life Mary Poppins, Brenda devoted her life to giving children the best possible start in life.

Brenda began training at the Norland Institute in 1939 at the age of 18, shortly before war was declared. It was a time of great upheaval and uncertainty, particularly for children.

Even as a nervous young trainee, Brenda was determined to give the children in her care a wonderful childhood, regardless of the horrors that were unravelling on the continent, and when the blitz began, on their doorsteps.

Brenda worked poverty-stricken evacuees from the East End London, as well as in the nurseries of smart Kensington homes. She frequently put her life at risk, dashing to air raid shelters with her charges clutched to her chest.

This is a story from a time when nothing was taken for granted and life itself was in peril on a near-daily basis. But the war was also a time when people pulled together like never before or since, and it called upon Brenda to make sacrifices she'd never imagined having to make...

Warm, funny and incredibly moving, Brenda's memoir brings to life the colourful world of wartime England.

Product Description

Book Description

A nanny's story of hardship, love and happiness in wartime England.

About the Author

Brenda is 90 years old and lives near Milton Keynes. Although she never married or had her own children, the walls of her flat are covered with photos of the children she looked after, and their children too.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spoonful of Sugar 6 July 2012
By Debs
A truely amazing read! It normally takes me months to finish a book but this I could not put down it took 4 days to read from cover to cover! A remarkable women who I could relate so well to as I manage a day nursery and have worked in nurseries for 25 years.Such wonderful and moving accounts about such precious possessions - children in their most formative years. Awaiting Volume 2!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful reading 3 July 2012
Wonderful reading, I felt every emotion Brenda went through I laughed, felt concerned and sobbed my heart out. What an amazing women and as a nursery nurse myself I can understand the love and anguish she feels for her little ones. I couldn't put this book down and really cannot wait until volume 2, and continue reading about this selfless women's life. I highly recommend reading this book you will not be sorry.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and beautifully written 18 July 2012
A Spoonful of Sugar

This is a truely rare and wonderful narrative that takes the reader on a wonderful journey through Brenda's many adventures. It is deeply touching, very moving but extremely funny and incredibly uplifting. I cannot recommend this book enough!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confused? 4 Nov. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For those who enjoyed the above book (which I most certainly did), I feel it worth mentioning that "A Spoonful of Sugar", with a different cover (different publisher, printed in 2014), is actually an extended version of Miss Ashford's book, including several additional new chapters. Three of these additional chapters can also be found in Brenda Ashford's "Tuppence for Paper and String". I mention this because it appears not to have been made plain anywhere that this is the case. I am hoping this information may prove helpful to those who wonder about two editions of the same book. I just hope you don't get too confused, as I did!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Love never faileth" 18 Dec. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the sacred motto of the Norland Institute and it dominates this enthralling true story of one woman's pilgrimage through the rigorous training of a Norland Nanny. The self discipline this produced stood her in good stead during the long years of World War 2. In all the horrors of relentless bombing by the enemy, Brenda's first thought was for the safety and protection of the children.
The whole book is a wonderful read - so human, so natural, yet with a golden thread running through of an unshaken faith in God.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars capivating 17 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful story bought as a gift and was given a chance to read it after the recipient had read it. The stories are not like the BBC midwife drama and not all things are rosie in the garden . A good read if you like nostalgia ,nursing and children an easy read but not quite a page turner.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A spoonful of sugar 11 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a riveting read very exciting to read how you all coped during the war years I am only sorry the country has lost some of the old British camaraderie that we had during that time
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book for anyone connected with children. 24 Jan. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A "must" for parents or adults connected with child care. Reminds us of things as they used to be !!!!!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A really good read.
Published 1 month ago by Beryl strong
5.0 out of 5 stars Good social
An insight into how things were mid 1900s. Good social history
Published 1 month ago by L S
4.0 out of 5 stars Life as a Nanny in wartime England
Life as a nanny in wartime England, enjoyable informative and nostalgic story
Published 7 months ago by V. A. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing recollections of a nanny's world in war time England
Amazing recollections of a nanny's world in war time England. She brings every emotion to life, love , happiness, sadness and determination. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Paul Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars FAST DELIEVRY
Published 11 months ago by Nichola Speight
2.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening tale of a truly dedicated professional nanny and her...
An enjoyable easy to read book which provides an insight tinged with both humour and sadness into the life of a Norlander Nanny.
Published 11 months ago by L. Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Mum loved it
Published 11 months ago by chrisw
5.0 out of 5 stars spoonful of sugar
delighted l bought this book on the recommendation from a friend and loved it cover to cover before passing it on and never seen it since!
Published 13 months ago by house elf
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
A lovely story about a Norland Nanny's life over 60 years. It took us from her initial training and through war time Britain when she looked after evacuated children in a nursery... Read more
Published 16 months ago by allyhooton
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh! the memories
All those found memories from my youth Brenda brought them all back, such a beautiful story and so well written
Published 16 months ago by D. A. Williams
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