- Hardcover: 489 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday; Library Ed edition (5 Aug. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385600666
- ISBN-13: 978-0385600668
- Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 14.2 x 4.1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,174,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Chestnut Tree Hardcover – 5 Aug 2002
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"'A compulsive read with the attitudes, mores and conditions of the 1940s accurately portrayed' THE HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW"
"'As compelling as ever'" (Woman & Home)
"'A holiday read that will keep you glued to your sun lounger' SAFEWAY MAGAZINE" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Her latest bestseller about the impact of WWII on four very different women in a small Sussex fishing village --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I thought this was a fabulous book, i have read books by Ms Bingham before but this was my favorite so far, i have then gone on to read the other two books in the trilogy. These follow the same people and Bexham though the following years
The Chestnut Tree follows the lives of the residents of Bexham, a Sussex fishing port during World War II. The main protagonists are four young girls all from the village but from differing social backgrounds. Judy Melton an admirals daughter, Meggie Gore-Stewart socialite, Mathilda Eastcott only child of staid parents and Rusty Todd, tomboy daughter of the owner of the local boatyard.
As the war years progress we see the girls not just participating in the war effort but falling in love.
Life will never be the same again for any of them after the war, as the lives of women of all ages changed during that period for ever.
Four women in an east coast country town are changed by wartime. Their lives make up the first 120 or so pages before the war gets under way; some lead quite boring and wealthy lives, others hedge rather than marry or act the tomboy around boats.
Determined to play an active role, older women set up village circles to make camouflage netting, a slow filthy task. A young woman stows away on a small boat heading to Dunkirk, rescues soldiers and sees tragedy.
Another woman works in a factory making barrage balloons and her nights are punctuated by air raids while her friends are killed by almost random bombs. A well-off young women who speaks French and German is recruited as a spy and sent to France.
I have read other Bingham books and other wartime stories, and this is not the best of either in my opinion. The effort is good and it does show how women's roles changed but some of the characters failed to hold my affection while there were so many names it could be hard to keep track. The lesson that the previous war to end all wars had been only 22 years previously was certainly well drummed in by the women who had been involved in their day. I felt that the men did not come over well - old and doddery, married Yank philanderer, and so on. Read this but go on to other tales such as 'Lights Out in Liverpool' or 'Blue Birds' for community or war work.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My mother says she can't tear herself away from this trilogy.Published on 28 Sept. 2014 by Jan Andersson
nice gentle read. Good for summer read when you want to switch off.Published on 19 July 2014 by Gina