on 20 June 2013
Not often do you come across a book to which you can 100% relate.
It so happens that I personally Lived Through the whole 2nd World War(1940-1945)Period,which this book covers.
And not only that,I was living in and out of Lodon,during those years,when I was not at Preparatory School,or down in the Country.
Molly Rich was a remarkable woman,and her letters bring back that 5 X Year Period as if it was yesterday.
To anyone who wants to hear about what was going-on in this Big City of ours during The War,this is the Book for you.
Its pure enjoyment,and sometimes very moving
on 17 June 2013
This is an enchanting book. Beautifully written letters, giving an intimate snapshot of the life of Molly and her extended family and their life in Chiswick during the Blitz. The book is touching, beautifully observed and full of warmth and humour. So pleased that her family have published this little gem.
on 25 June 2013
At one point in this wonderful book of letters about life in the blitz Molly says 'No one with imagination can be happy just now', and yet the book is full of humour, camaraderie, decency, crises-overcome and hilarious eccentricities. Besieged by fires, shells and bombs a vicarage by the Thames at Chiswick is a humane refuge for a large family plus evacuees, waifs and strays, bombed-out neighbours, dogs, cats and canaries. Imagination and enterprise are stimulated by shortage and lives are heightened by crisis.
The letters are delightfully illustrated by Anthea Craigmyle, Molly's daughter.
There's not a dull paragraph in this book. Everyone should read it.
on 17 June 2013
This is a truly uplifting story as told in Molly's wartime letters to Otto, a young Jewish refugee, to whom she became a surrogate mother. The letters are the narrative of a generous, caring, sensitive, warm, positive, selfless, witty, practical vicar's wife who, while coping with the exigencies of wartime life in Chiswick, while gave love and support and hope and courage to Otto to help him to overcome the vicissitudes of his being interned first in England, then shipped in appalling conditions to Australia, and then returning to England to serve in the Pioneer Corps. Molly is an inspiration and an example to all of us. I encourage everyone to read this wonderful book.
on 15 June 2013
Molly Rich's letters are a delightful as well as a realistic evocation of the war years in London. The charming illustrations, by her daughter Anthea Craigmyle, completely capture the spirit of the blitz and amusingly demonstrate the unlikely friendships which were formed in times of adversity.
on 20 June 2013
I enjoyed this book enormously and found it very difficult to put down. Molly's humour, amazing energy, and kindness draw one into her world immediately. The matter-of-fact way she describes privation, endless work, and occasional fun, as well as some difficult, not to say frightening experiences, makes one feel that one is there with her in early 1940s London. It is a vivid source of social history which should be read by anyone studying life in London at this period, but is also a book which will appeal to everyone interested in the human condition. It would make a great novel, if it were not fact. I found it one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time.
on 17 July 2013
Anyone who was not there and wishes to capture the atmosphere of war time Britain should read this book. I mean, everyone should read this book. Molly was an amazing woman and deserves the immortality her letters will surely bring her. I loved every word of it and would have read it at a sitting had I not started it at 9 p.m., half an hour before the time I usually fall asleep. One of its many pleasures was the faultless grammar which this old pedant misses in much modern writing. Are there still people like her?
on 22 July 2013
Charmingly illustrated by the author's daughter, A Vicarage in the Blitz, gives an insight into the hardships endured with great good humour and ingenuity at the Vicarage, during World War !!. The story is told through a series of witty letters from Molly, wife of the Vicar Chiswick, to Otto, a much loved German refugee who had been living at the Vicarage as an honorary son at the outbreak of War. As the War progressed, Otto was interred, first in the UK and later in Australia. Molly went to enormous lengths to find Otto as he was moved around, and to keep him abreast of news of family, friends, and pets, passing through the Vicarage. Because these letters had been a lifeline for Otto, he had kept them all, and eventually returned them to the author's daughter, who, with his permission has turned them into an entertaining and highly engaging book.
on 6 June 2015
When I first saw this book, and noted 'The Wartime Letters of Molly Rich' under the title, I hesitated about buying it. I wondered whether 'letters' would be interesting to read. However, I enjoyed this book immensely. It captivated my attention throughout, being full of humour and packed with information about the day to day life of a vicar's wife during the Blitz. Molly writes with a wonderfully descriptive prose, and I especially liked her descriptions of the people she encountered daily. There are interesting footnotes and short bracketed explanations, photographs, and superb illustrations by Anthea Craigmyle. I recommend this book to anyone interested in social history during this period, I think it is one of the best I have read.
on 14 December 2013
Fascinating glimpse of wartime middle-class philanthropism. This is not a diary but a collection of letters and as such had to pass a censor, therefore much was probably omitted before the pen hit the paper. For me this resulted in a less than 5-star appreciation, although it is still a very charming read from a very charming author.