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34 Reviews
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Wonderful Rumours!
May Smith was a young teacher, living with her parents in Swadlincote, Debeyshire, when WWII started. When war began she was twenty four and she was thirty by VE day. I point this out as May's age, her fluctuating weight and her marital status are all of great importance to her throughout these pages. In other words she was a lovely, normal young woman - preoccupied...
Published on 8 Nov. 2012 by S Riaz

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. Was there actually a war on?
This was disappointing in the extreme. Billed on the front cover as "A young schoolteacher's wartime diaries" it might as well have been "a very shallow girl plays tennis, eats food, two-times a couple of men and hardly mentions the war". We're treated to endless descriptions of hair dressing and tennis matches (at one point I wasn't sure whether "had a good set" referred...
Published 7 months ago by tonyinselby


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars These Wonderful Rumours - an opinion from Nick, 7 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries (Kindle Edition)
The period when the diarist is describing the many air raids is quite revealing as I hadn't realised how regularly sirens went off where she lived in the country. Being an ex class teacher myself I liked her honesty about finding teaching a bit of a drag at times, although I hadn't realised how little holiday schoolchildren had during wartime.I lost interest a little when she was obsessing about her clothing problems and found her attitude towards her two suitors rather annoying, but it was refreshing to hear a different viewpoint of the war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wartime journal, 12 Dec. 2013
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D. P. Duddington (NORTHAMPTON) - See all my reviews
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a fantastic book on the lines of housewife forty nine. it would make a verry verry good t v drama
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wartime, 1 Jun. 2014
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This was a purchase for a gift for a 84 year old who likes to read short pieces of work so being in diary form I thought it would be perfect I did have a scan through it and it read really well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Assessment, 15 Jun. 2014
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This review is from: These Wonderful Rumours!: A Young Schoolteacher's Wartime Diaries (Kindle Edition)
Not very impressed with it. I thought it might be an entertaining read but it is just someone's diary of general life. I gave up when war was declared! I might try to read it again sometime
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5.0 out of 5 stars Life goes on - a real diary so the tedious and mundane side of life too which was so ..., 19 Oct. 2014
Light and amusing. Life goes on - a real diary so the tedious and mundane side of life too which was so well written to make it interesting and part of her life story. This was a 'feel good' book of a young woman coping with WW2, remaining cheerful, enthusiastic and positive. Two things happened in one year which changed her life and both were unrelated to the War. It was a pleasure to read. What happened to the generous and patient admirer she didn't choose I wonder.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Mar. 2013
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Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book which is a snapshot of day to day life in a small town in the Midlands during WWII through the eyes of a young primary school teacher. The style of writing is very entertaining, I found some laugh out loud moments which I think many female readers would enjoy, and how even though there is a war on she seems to find more importance in things that matter to a woman in her twenties, clothes, money, hairstyles, boyfriends etc. Also of interest are the effects that the threat of bombing has on her activities during the course of the war, and still living at home with her parents she does not complain too much about the hardships of rationing, except when clothing becomes rationed. It was also interesting to learn how life was before the days of television and how she amused herself in the evenings.

I found it difficult to put the book down, but one that you can either read through from cover to cover or just dip into at random. I must confess I am somewhat biased in that I have lived in the area for many years so mention of some of the places which were once familiar, i.e. shops, cinemas etc that no longer exist, added extra appeal, but feel that this book would be just as entertaining to a wider audience.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Wonderful Rumours, 28 Dec. 2012
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This was an absolutely delightful piece of social history, written with unselfconscious verve and wit. May Smith's humanity, intelligence and powers of observation shine through a wealth of fascinating wartime stories. May's self-irony is plucky rather than cynical, her narrative voice playful and mildly satirical and her energy is inspiring: she copes with classes of 47 children, evacuee families and nights alert in the cellar, yet still has the determination not to miss games of tennis, cultural lectures and trips to the flicks. Level headed and gossipy, she provides some farcically entertaining rumours, often finishing with 'sounds very far-fetched'. The sheer variety of tone makes it a good read: there are some graceful descriptive passages; brief self-flagellation for perpetually overspending on frocks and frivolities; waspishness against her ex, a social climbing clergyman who is marrying a hospital masseuse: 'I hope she massages all the Conceit out of him'; and nervous guilt about stringing along two attentive young men, before she can finally commit to the more intelligent, less devoted, Freddie.
The variety of tone also makes this suitable for genre or thematic based comparative coursework assignments for classes that can identify glimpses of astute social satire, analyse irony and are capable of handling 400 (swift-turning) pages.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating insight into an ordinary life, 28 Dec. 2012
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May Smith's diary is a wonderfully vivid and lively account of her everyday life. Apart from giving an ordinary person's view of life on the Home Front (for example the family's initial terror of air raids turns to blase indifference)the diary chronicles the tortuous path of May's romances - will Freddie's dedicated courtship pay off? I loved May, and her irreverent view of life, and was sad to reach the end of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 13 Aug. 2014
Couldn't put the book down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 7 Aug. 2014
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A good read
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