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Sand In My Shoes: Coming of Age in the Second World War: A WAAF’s Diary Paperback – 2 Jul 2007
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'Joan's diary succeeds entirely in bringing this kind of war experience dancing off the page…Its appeal lies in Joan's conflicting dreams, hopes and expectations.' Daily Telegraph
‘A remarkable diary…witty, honest providing riveting detail about daily events.’ Sunday Times
'What makes the book so special is its wonderful candour about love…it's a gem.' Country Life
'Love, sweets, cafes, bread, cold baths, boredom, buttons, bombs, bars for meeting, RAF pilots for dancing, heartache, sorrow, as Joan Rice works to identify enemy planes and blisses out in a troopship to Cairo. A clever English girl watches herself grow up in wartime in her truth-telling, brave, whirling, wonderful diary.' Xandra Bingley, author of ‘Bertie, May and Mrs Fish’
‘A sweet, friendly read.’ Literary Review
'I read it in one go and was fascinated by Joan's radar-like observation and wit. What a fantastic find for any grandchild: a slice of a life and a slice of history all in one go.' Roberta Taylor
About the Author
Joan Rice was born in 1919. Leaving school at seventeen, she worked as a secretary until the outbreak of World War II, when she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. She met her husband in Cairo, and after serving in England, Africa and the Middle East, returned home to give birth to her first son. She now lives in Hertfordshire
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Top Customer Reviews
It's the published diaries of a girl who was 19 when the Second World War began. It must be fairly unique of its type because apparently members of the forces weren't supposed to record their experiences during war time so the author kept her diary secretly and at the end of the war no one was interested in it because everyone was fed up with hearing about the war. Now it is a piece of social history and fascinating to read.
The book is pleasingly unaffected and informative, even down to what they ate (not very healthily by today's standards).
I read the last part of the book when I was travelling to work on the train and it really struck me how, despite the war and the difficulties of travel at the time, the author travelled widely using every conceivable method of transport available to her. Now, with all we have at our disposal we constrain ourselves by train timetables and whether we have the right model of car.
The book also illustrates the incredible social life people made for themselves, and the camaraderie of the war, despite the awful things which were taking place in the wider world.
There are quite a lot of footnotes explaining forces expressions and fashions of the time. I was a bit taken aback by the fact that I understood them all without needing to use the footnotes but I'm consoling myself that it was probably because my dad was in RAF during the war and he used a lot of them throughout his life. That's my excuse anyway.
The author presents as a very self absorbed person and the whole time seemed to be seeking fun, fun, fun from start to finish. The war (very much in the background) seemed to be rather an inconvenience and should have been the main focus of this diary. I know it was the diary of a young woman who had just left home and wanted to enjoy herself but it was a very shallow read. I have read many books on the subject and they are always an enjoyable and interesting read but this one was a huge disappointment.
A real treasure
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not particularly well written but an interesting account of Joan Rice's wartime experiencesPublished on 3 Feb. 2015 by Mrs. Mary Johnson
Just a young girl's lovesick diary . If you want an interesting personal account of life in the war - don't bother with this . Read morePublished on 3 July 2014 by lurcher-fan
Modern social history, both poignant and delightful, about a coming of age and love in the war. If anything the Audible version is better, because it is read beautifully and with... Read morePublished on 28 May 2013 by JWW
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