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on 20 October 2009
Playwright, actor and director Terence Frisby's most famous play is There's a Girl in My Soup, the West End's longest running comedy. He and older brother Jack, aged seven and eleven respectively, were WWII evacuees, in the Cornish hamlet of Doublebois, where they lived with `Uncle Jack', a former Welsh miner with good old-Labour views, and his warm-hearted wife `Auntie Rose'.

The brothers remained in Cornwall for three years, and fully entered the rural life there, whose outstanding personalities ranged from Miss Polmanor, a starchy Wesleyan Methodist, to Miss Polmanor's charge Elsie, a highly sexualised teenager, who succeeded in getting herself impregnated by one of the many American GI's billeted here throughout the course of the war.

As a kind of watermark permeating the whole living texture of this charming wartime memoir is the benign presence of Uncle Jack and Auntie Rose, two very warm-hearted, gentle and generous people, for whom Jack and Terry's well-being is uppermost - one imagines not automatically the fate of child evacuees in wartime.

The story has previous incarnations as a play, Just Remember Two Things: It's Not Fair and Don't Be Late, and as a stage musical based on that play.

What critics and bloggers have said:

`Terence Frisby has done something difficult: he has made good times and good people more fun to read about than any melodrama, in a book that leaves one feeling grateful and happy.' Diana Athill

`I will say it again, a lovely lovely lovely book.' Random Jottings of a Book and Opera Lover

`Frisby's book is an antidote to those misery memoirs which crop up everywhere.' `I predict a classic.' Stuck in a Book

`Perhaps the best sign of how enchanting this book was to me, I didn't want it to end.' Banter Basement

Kisses on a Postcard is a real treasure; it's told with love and fondness and humour and I never normally read memoirs by men so it's been refreshing and illuminating to have a male point of view on childhood for once. It really is a wonderful book that shows the tenacity and generosity of the human spirit, and I highly recommend it. Book Snob

This is a lovely book. I felt lonely when I'd finished it...Auntie Rose and Uncle Jack finished me off. I needed a hanky.... What a lovely book. T Frisby and I worked together on Playschool long years ago...but it's just the sort of book I LOVE so thanks... Phyllida Law
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on 19 October 2009
Kisses on a Postcard is a true account of the experiences of Terence and his brother Jack during their evacuation to Cornwall from London during World war 2.

The evacuees soon start their own war against the local children and their story is both funny and moving.
They quickly learn the ways of the countryside, while Elsie from the end cottage willingly broadens their knowledge of the birds and the bees. This is a brilliant account of an event that we hope will never be repeated.

The title refers to a clever code devised by their Mother. Kisses on a postcard sent home denoted that they were well treated, while no kisses meant they wanted to come home. Fortunately Terence drew a whole ring of kisses around his postcard.

Bill Sutton Coventry.
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on 22 September 2009
The story of two evacuee children during the Second World War. The author and his brother Jack are sent to the tiny Cornish hamlet of Doublebois, where they enjoy three wonderful years being looked after by 'Uncle Jack' and 'Auntie Rose'. This is a wonderfully warm account of those times, and an experience almost to be envied from the window of modern life, despite the reminders of the realities of war. No 7 Railway Cottages seems an infinitely wonderful place to be, proving that things don't have to glitter to be gold. Loved this book, and can't wait to see the promised musical. Why Kisses on a Postcard? I won't spoil it for you. Read the book and find out!
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on 29 December 2009
I loved this story of childhood set during the Second World War. Some of the contents may be new to younger readers who may be unaware of the privations imposed on London citizenry during that period.But the story is told accurately and, maybe more importantly, succinctly. The writing is clear and straightforward. There is an excellent portrayal of the relationship between the two young evacuees and their mother on one hand and with their "uncle and aunt" on the other. Terence Frisby describes a burgeoning interest in the countryside (which I hope was later brought to fruition). He has captured the loneliness of a child away from home and balanced that with the welcome the boys got in Cornwall.I loved the abrupt ending, told unemotionally, as I feel this is how their lives as evacuees finished.
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on 11 February 2010
This is a truly delightful heart warming read. I now feel as if I really knew "Aunty Rose" and " Uncle Jack", Terence Frisby has recreated his childhood self, and the world he found himself living in so beautifully, that the voices of these wonderful people ring out. So often with wartime memoirs we read of hardship, struggle, over whelming tragedy. loss and sorrow, but here we have a story of how two London brothers were welcomed into the home of a welsh couple in a tiny Cornish village, and the wonderful life they found for themselves there and the lessons that life taught them. We see Jack and Terry wage a wintery war on the village kids, and see poor Terry become a little sweet on Elsie - who is older and much more knowledgable about certain things. Jack and Terry soon become a part of this tiny remote community, where the arrival of black American soldiers isn't met with prejudice so much as sheer amazement. Of course not everyone is as lovely as Jack and Rose their foster parents, another constant presence is Miss Polmanor poor Elsie's gaudian, a relgious zealot who is hard and unyeilding. A thouroughly good read.
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on 9 October 2009
A lovely book. So true to life. Made me laugh and made me cry
I did not want to put it down
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on 21 June 2010
A beautiful story full of warmth, good times and kind hearted people. A childhood experiencing the simple things in life, the kinds of things that today,s children know nothing about. What child today would walk over a mile to school in all weathers and having to sit in a classroom all day with cold wet feet.
A piece from the book made me smile as I read ( Going to bed was an ordeal, getting into warm pyjamas downstairs, no heat upstairs, but a stone hot water bottle in bed to put your feet on as shivering you scramble to snuggle down under blankets and eiderdown. Waking to ice on the inside of your window).Those certainly were days to remember well. They may have been hard times but we were happy.
Also there are lovely pictures with smiling faces. This book was my kind of read and I hope it will give others readers as much enjoyment as its given me, plus the smiles.
Happy reading everyone.
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on 15 June 2012
I loved this book for a number of reasons.Most relevant here is that it's a well-written tale full of good humour,a love of life and leaves you with a good feeling for days gone by and a different era.It could well have been mawkish and sentimental but Terence Frisby tells the good,the sad and sometimes the almost heartbreaking without resorting to pathos or melodrama and some of the sadder parts of the book are all the more effective for that.
I really bought this for my Dad who is the same age group as Mr Frisby and lived a couple of miles from Welling during the war and now lives on Bodmin Moor.I pass through Doublebois quite often and I'll now look on it in a different light,until reading Kisses on a Postcard it was always just a handful of houses that I didn't pay much attention on my travels.
Living in the Westcountry I found it an excellent piece of local history as well as a great autobiography and reading about people watching Plymouth being blitzed from afar and and an incident regarding a German plane that I won't reveal so as not to spoil anything for those who havn't read the book brought a lump to my throat.Another aspect of this book that impressed me was that it showed how war affects many more people than those directly involved,only one of the main characters in Mr Frisby's story was an active serviceman but the war,wars to be more accurate,impacted on the lives of them all.
Not a long book but a great read and a deceptively simple one that will make you think.It gave me a better understanding of a part of the world I thought I knew very well and made me want to pull over one day and take a closer look at that small village I've driven through so often with barely a second thought.
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on 25 April 2010
My mother lent me this book as I have an interest in how people lived years gone by. I found "Kisses on a postcard" a delightful read, full of interest and good humour.

It relates the lives of a number of evacuees, "vackies", from London, told through the eyes of Terry ( the author). Together with his brother, Jack, they are taken in by Auntie Rose and Uncle Jack and homed in a Cornish hamlet called Doublebois. The first delight was this is a mere seven miles up the road from where I presently live.

The tale unfolds over three and half years throughout the 2nd world war. It's humorous and tragic events retell their experiences living in a tiny community miles from their natural home and parents. Rose and Jack are typical locals, even though they originated from the Welsh mining area. They were warm hearted, strong and yet gentle. There's a respectful rivalry between the locals and the vackies and I could relate to their differences so easily, it reminded me of my childhood some twenty years later. Their experiences capture the essence of history during this period offsetting it against the harshness of the war itself. I was able to follow the journey easily as its description made it simple for me to trace where they were as they travelled through Doublebois and Dobwalls.I could picture where the churches, schools, shops, farms and garages were. Another delight was the local Bunney family as they potentially could be distant cousins.

As I read the story, I had empathy for the vackies but probably, took the side of the locals because that's where my heart is. It taught me a great deal about life during the war years which you can only imagine from other stories. You can appreciated how Terry has such warmth and respect for his short other childhood down in Cornwall and his gratitude for his foster Aunt and Uncle all those years later.

A fantastic read.
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on 15 October 2010
I loved this book. Knowing the area well ,I could well imagine little children from a town being truly enthralled by the countryside. I stayed with an aunt in Cornwall for some months during the war, who also had an evacuee from London. I often wonder what she thought of us all,and if she understood what was being said. I bet she had some tales to tell, Did she have a secret code message with her Mum ?
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