Top positive review
20 of 20 people found this helpful
on 10 April 2012
An absorbing read, The War on Our doorstep is a collection of oral histories expertly grouped together. Each paragraph is a different voice from the East End, they are funny, touching and sobering by turns. As they are all collected as oral stories they are very fresh, you really do feel spoken to by each person as they remember their past. There are tales of eighteen to a house and a shared lavatory in the yard, of having to buy food by the tin cup, of the amazing freedom for children to play and the very tough times they went through; leaving school too young and starting work too early. There are bombs and dances, Zepplins and Mosley, dockers and immigrants, the Bethnal Green Tube disaster, pawn shops and the black market. This is gripping, some of the storytellers appear several times and following their lives against the backdrop of London life I felt I got to know them. This isn't just tales of wartime terror as the title might suggest but real lives, funny and complicated and I'll be buying it for about five people I know who will love it.