Millions Like Us: Women's Lives in the Second World War Hardcover – 5 May 2011
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A deeply moving account of female courage both at home and overseas during the six brutal years of war...the joy of Virginia Nicholson's book is the way she has plaited scores of individual stories into a richly textured account of the many forms that female courage can take. This story belongs to us all (Kathryn Hughes The Mail On Sunday )
Vividly entertaining, uplifting and humbling, Millions Like Us deserves to be a bestseller (Bel Mooney The Daily Mail )
Passionate, fascinating, profoundly sympathetic (Artemis Cooper Evening Standard )
Where Nicholson scores over other histories and memoirs is that her vivid narrative is set firmly in the context of the social conventions of the time...this lovely book is poignant, hilarious and inspiring (Edwina Currie The Times )
An acclaimed account of this period... a rich seam of social history (Cassandra Jardine The Daily Telegraph )
Ambitious, humane and absorbing (Anne Chisholm Spectator )
About the Author
Virginia Nicholson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and grew up in Yorkshire and Sussex. She studied at Cambridge University and lived abroad in France and Italy, then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television. Her books include the acclaimed social histories Among the Bohemians: Experiments in Living 1900-1939, Singled Out: How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War, and Millions Like Us: Women's Lives During the Second World War, all published by Penguin. She is married to a writer, has three children and lives in Sussex.
Top customer reviews
There is just enough verbatim recording to give it authenticity and that makes it all the more heartfelt. Parts of it fill you with a sense of outrage at the attitudes that men had towards the women who were putting so much effort into essential work in the forces and out. Times can't be changed, but it is a harsh fact that women were truly undervalued at the time when they were giving most of their time and energy to the war effort.
It is not all doom and gloom; there are some glorious moments of lives enriched by the experience of war.
Helen Forrester's story is one of the most touching: coming from a home where money and love were scarce, she had to go through the pain of losing two fiances (and another nearly so) to the war and in spite of her work never really found her worth until well after the war was over. Iris Ogilvie's experiences in recently re-occupied France belie the tale told by the propaganda photograph of her looking at hats in a Bayeux shop. And if you ever believed those romantic stories about the GIs, this book will dispel most of those myths forever.
The worth of the book lies in its honesty and the feeling the reader gets of what the lives of the various women discussed was like physically and emotionally. I recommend this book to anyone not only with an interest in history, but with an interest in people.
This book is not a feminist diatribe but gives an excellent informative glimpse into that time without any form of critisism.
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