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4.5 out of 5 stars
Maidens' Trip
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2009
A very enjoyable read. Emma Smith brings her experiences on the canals to life - written from the perspective of a volunteer doing her best for England during the War. I knew of the land girls but had never known that the canals were supported during the war by similar patriots.

I read the book during a canal boat holiday covering some of the same waterways described in the book; the contrast in approaches (now 'safety first' and 'relaxed enjoyment', then 'get the goods delivered quickly') was clear.

I recommend reading this book - though the reader must not enter the book expecting the 'maiden' to have any form of sexual experience; perhaps a difference in expectation in literary content between today and 60 years ago!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An escape into another world, a fleeting glimpse of a vanished life. Fun and seriousness, adventure and graft. I'd been meaning to read this book for a long time and finally got a hardback copy having grown tired of waiting for its paperback reissue. A delight from start to finish, peopled with wonderful characters. It's done in a semi-fictionalised way, with her memoirs and those of others rearranged into one round trip; while I had reservations about this it works very well. Her writing style is a joy - quirky, cheeky, astute, with brevity yet depth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2013
Beautifully written story of how young women with no boating experience took important cargo by narrowboat from Limehouse docks in central London to the Midlands during the desperate times of WW2. Emma has brought together separate real incidents from her memory of several trips into just one 'fictional' journey.......one of the best canal books I have ever read......
...........simply superb
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2009
This is an evocative account of three young women encountering a truly alien way of life. I first read this book more than 40 years ago at the age of 8 or 9 ( we lived beside the Shropshire Union canal) and I was bewitched by Emma Smith's story and the vivid picture which she drew of a world with it's own rules and traditions, in many ways detached from the war and it's impact. I am about to reread it for the twelfth or so time, whilst on a narrowboat holiday and I will introduce it to my daughters.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is another excellent read, if like me love the canals and reading about them in the hey day. About three women taking over thier own narrow boats after training in WW2. It was adventure they never invisage.

once again like to the author for excellent read
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2009
I needed to know a bit about the book and finding it 'fun', ordered it. I will be passing it around various friends of all ages as it gives a fascinating insight of 'another' life.
I was also most pleased with the speed of Service provided.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
this was a delightful book and especially appealing to those such as myself who are fans of the british canal system! it would have been even better with more illustrations. i'm going to read Emma Smith's account of her childhood in newquay next. wish there were more
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2013
Everyone visiting the canals should have a copy of Maidens' Trip with them. This edition has several photographs of Emma Smith and her chums. A wonderful nostalgic read!
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on 30 April 2013
I have had many a good holiday on canals and found this different aspect of journeying completely absorbing and entertaining . It was well written and I will certainly read it again, a thing I do not often do.
I wanted a follow up as to how these girls continued their lives after the war and did they keep in touch, after such an intimate way, hard of life..
If you enjoy water travel you will enjoy this
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on 12 December 2014
This is an interesting account of a woman's perspective on war. Often forgotten, this topic does not necessarily spring to mind when reading war literature. A welcome change from the 'typical' publication marking this landmark year - a good read. Would make a lovely gift! Fantastic delivery and service also.
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