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Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45 Paperback – 22 Sep 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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  • Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45
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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Persephone Books Ltd; New edition (22 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953478084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953478088
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 4.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Still vibrant and helpful today...a poignant, honest, frightening, yet heartwarming record of one articulate woman's coping with war.' -- The Tallahassee Democrat Review September 2001


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Format: Paperback
Vere Hodgson's book is subtitled "A diary showing how unimportant people in London and Birmingham lived through the war years". This wonderful book is so much more than that. Hodgson's diary brought home to me more than anything else I've read about London in the Blitz just how difficult life was. London rarely seemed to have an uninterrupted night. Think how cranky you feel after one night's broken sleep and multiply this many times. Add the constant worry about family and friends in the services or living in areas prone to bombing, apart from the fact that you could never be sure if you were safe in your own house, and you have some idea of the life endured by Vere Hodgson and her circle. Hodgson felt it showed a lack of patriotism to complain too much and her good humour shines through, even when she must have sometimes felt like having a good grumble. Although her long diary (over 600 pp) sometimes seems to be a constant catalogue of bombing raids and worries over rations, it is always absorbing reading. She comments on all the war news, and her extravagant enthusiasm for Churchill makes me sorry for the cynicism with which we look at politicians today. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a picture of London during the Blitz through the eyes of an "unimportant" person.
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Format: Paperback
I was drawn to Ms. Hodgson's book, not only because of my interest in wartime Britain, but because she was a social worker, as I am. The book proved a marvellous record of daily life during the Blitz -- so "daily" in fact, that I'm sure many would find it boring and repetitive (STILL No Eggs and Few Oranges???), but I feel that this is what made it work. As I read the book, I began to feel a part of life in a London kept awake by nightly bombardment -- or fear of it. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to capture the flavor of this vanished time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This diary was kept by Vere Hodgson during WW2 with a view to sending it to her cousin abroad, as a record of life in England during the War. I found it absolutely fascinating. Of course I knew most of the facts, but this book brings to life the everyday fears and problems suffered in particular by Londoners as their city was at times continuously under attack. Unlike any other book I have read, the outcome of the War was not known by Vere Hodgson as it was written as a diary, so at various times it seemed likely to her that the Germans might actually be the conquerors. The terror of the Blitz, then the V1 and V2 bombs, as well as the devastation of London, are described in detail. Vere Hodgson got on with her life bravely, as so many other Londoners did, under unimaginable strains, and she writes of her working day, work colleagues and family all coping to various degrees. She writes well and is unsentimental. I highly recommended this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book gripped me from the start - and I was genuinely disappointed to reach the end (not sure Vere Hodgson was though!). It is a remarkable account of living through the war as a single woman in London, and is filled with references to events and publications which sent me scurrying to cross reference - and, in some cases, to buy more books! The official Persephone Press website advises potential readers that this book is somewhat longer than their usual books, and as such may be too much for some readers - ignore this caveat and read this super book.
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Format: Paperback
Phew! I made it to the end of this almost 600 page diary of London in wartime. It's a very good record of what life was like in our capital city from the time that the bombing raids started in earnest in June 1940 until the end of the war in May 1945.

Vere Hodgson is an interesting diarist and I think this book will stand the test of time as a true account of the war. I would probably have liked a little more depth to the people she wrote about, but apart from that I think this book was a good read. She wrote the diary initially to send to her cousin, who had moved to Rhodesia, but I think that by the end a number of people overseas were reading it.

Several things really struck me, such as the constant, night after night, raids during 1940. I wonder how Vere would have felt writing about it if she had known the war would go on for another five years. Also the rationing and the difficulty in getting hold of fruit. When it was available it was often extortionately priced. And simple things like trying to buy sheets was virtually impossible. I could go on, but basically the diary was an eye-opener in that although I knew about these things, actually reading them from the point of view of somebody who was there really brought it home.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best Home Front diaries I have read, giving a detailed account of the Blitz in London where the writer lived and worked during the war, and her visits to the Midlands where her family lived. Full of detailed information, a very well written and interesting read of 500 plus pages. I couldn't put it down!
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Format: Paperback
I was initially drawn to this book as it is published by Persephone. The endpapers and bookmark are exquisite.

I enjoy reading books set during and between the wars and this was a hit.

Go, buy, enjoy.
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