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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific third book in the series - loved it as much as the first two!, 17 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir (Kindle Edition)
I was lucky enough to get this when it was on Amazon for free, but I would have bought it anyway, having read the two other books in the series, 1923: A Memoir and Hamburg 1947.

Harry Smith is back from the second world war, and brings his German bride over to live in darkest working class Halifax - a bit of a shock for her! The book documents not only the ups and downs of Harry and Friede's relationship, but also tells much about how people felt after the war, in both Germany and England, about the increased desire for sociological change, everwhere, and about the dissatisfaction felt by so many people.

Just like the other two books in the series this is completely unputdownable - I started reading this the minute I'd finished the last one. It's not only fascinating because of the personal way it relates the history of the time, but it's just so well written, really engaging. I read it when I shouldn't be reading it; I kept sneaking my Kindle out - yes, it's one of those books!

I highly recommend all three of these books - well done, Harry Smith!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars review of Harry Leslie Smith's book, 16 July 2013
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The book looks and feels good. it is very readable because of Harry's easy style of writing and I am interested in this period of time as it gives an insight into what life was like for my parents.
He is a remarkable man at 90 years of age and still has much to say.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Never give up: Love, Grit and Determination, 26 Jun 2013
This review is from: The Empress of Australia: A Post-War Memoir (Kindle Edition)
Jolly old England? If your part of the upper-crust, yes! If not, the future is not bright.

Mr. Smith has done it again. In the vein of Dickens, Mr. Smith paints a realistic picture of post war Great Britain. I have studied the topic for over thirty years, but something was missing in the accolades that were lavished on the Allies total victory over the Axis powers. Russia revealed in their new territorial acquisitions. The US flexed its power as a new Super power. But what of England? She too was part of the victory. She stood side-by-side with her brothers in arms, but the spoils were not to be. Instead of riding an economic high, she was stuck in the pre-war depression, at least for the common blue collar worker; nothing had changed.

Mr. Smith paints a very detailed look at the lives of the locals. Too say the least, it's not very pleasant. Nothing has changed for the masses. In fact, it seems worse for all than before the war started.

He resigns from the R.A.F in hopes of starting fresh and bringing his German war bride Friede, back to his home country for a new start. In reality, it's not. Job opportunities are thin and few. Housing options are bleak at best. The euphoria he was riding after spending time in post war Germany is slowly sapped away as he falls into the same guttural positions and economic woes which have blighted his family and countrymen for decades. Very depressing to say the least.

Yet, fear not. There is a light at the tunnel. Friede can no longer take the dismal, gloomy, depressing atmosphere of Halifax. She returns to her home town of Hamburg to sort out their sot. Harry feels lost and abandoned. His prospects of drudgery are high. He's fallen into the same trap he so desperately vowed to avoid.

But fear not. All is not lost!

If you enjoyed Mr. Smith's first book, The Barley Hole Chronicles, this is the rest of the story. If you didn't read the first one, fear not. You will have no problem following this one.

Who will enjoy this? The list is long and cumbersome, but in short: students of world history, WWII enthusiasts, Sociologists and more.

A well deserved four stars!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully atmospheric, stunning and heart-wrenchingly candid this melancholic portrait, is a nostalgic tale of time past., 7 Feb 2013
Poignant and indisputably compelling, this realistic account of life during post-war 1940's Britain is truly insightful. War-related literature seems to hold sway during the events of World War one or the Second World War, but rarely one is able to glimpse what it was like after this catastrophically consequential moment within history. Peace may have been sought, but living within destructions wake is another matter, as injustice and deprivation ensues. This heartrending, deeply moving tale follows one man's journey from leaving the battleground into disarray, as social tyranny and dictatorship changed Britain's functioning. Harry Smith's bittersweet upshot of WW2 depicts the harsh reality of life within a nation divided by social hierarchy, political disharmony and shaky economy. A personal journey of self-discovery, freedom fighting and a quest for dignity, this memorable memoir is greatly significant and touching...

Winter, 1948 is brought vividly to life through detailed description and vision, which only a painter could capture. This is a book which indents your inner core, as you reflect upon the brutality of war and all that is left behind in its path of eternal cataclysmic destruction. However, amid the disarray and dissonance is some humor and dry wit that adds a touch of lightness to the sincerity, as your perception and understanding of events is heightened. Acutely thought-provoking and truth-drawing in essence, this is a must-read for all interested in well-written literature and in-depth character-study. Within Britain's lost empire and bankruptcy is a man whose inner strength and spirit of heart is so commendable as to fill one with warmth, optimism and fulfillment.

This beautiful book is a delight to behold and something distinctly original, which stands-out from other fictional works that focus on WW2 itself rather than the aftereffects. Intensely gripping and fascinating, I was enthralled by this captivating read which was most enjoyable. Laying emphasis on those strong political, social and economic issues at the time as well as observing what life was like for soldiers coming home to a broken (but not beaten) Britain is really interesting; as the pieces fall back into place bit-by-bit, slowly. As a fan of historical fiction and literature specifically surrounding WW2 (in which my Grandparents experienced first-hand; one building airplanes the other at Winston Churchill's side), this book certainly caught my interest. With its striking, eye-catching cover that can't fail to attract your attention, this delightful memoir is a real treat to behold.

*I won a copy of "The Empress of Australia: A post-war memoir" by Harry Leslie Smith, from a Goodreads giveaway*

I would like to take the opportunity of thanking the author for letting me have the chance to read his work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book-would recommend everyone reads it, 27 Aug 2013
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G. Spadaro-Dutturi "Gwyn" (S.E.Wales) - See all my reviews
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Everyone needs to understand the hardships that many of our servicemen met when they were demobbed. This book does it, but in a funny and entertaining way. I just love Harry Smith's work
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