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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 August 2010
There are many books available about World War 2 but very little about civilian life. This book fills that void. Little attention is paid, even today, about the actual work done by civilians who ventured out into the Blitz & fought the war on the Home Front. People such as ARP wardens, Fire Watchers, WVS & ordinary civilians sitting in the shelters are all given a voice. It is obvious when reading this book that the author has done a vast amount of research as she uses peoples diaries, letters & recollections to guide us through the war chronologically. People are as you can imagine terrified, & as they are writing their feelings in their diaries are willing to admit it. The frustrations of day to day living are spoken of. The constant feeling of exhaustion from sleep being interrupted, the difficulty of trying to do a simple thing like eating a hot meal without the air raid warning sounding, frustration of trying to do a simple task like shopping when the roads are blocked. All are revealed in this book. The reader learns about what happens when your home becomes inhabitable due to bomb damage. How families are dispersed amongst relatives, friends or a hotel in the countryside. One landlord remarks all are welcome if they can pay!!!!!
Contributions from military personnel point to the lack of organisation across the country at the beginning of the war. A young soldier, who was told he was too young to fight in France in 1940, finds himself in the newly-formed branch of bomb disposal!!! A member of the ATS recounts how the people of her local market showed their appreciation of the work she did even though rules & regulations meant that she, along with many others, never received a medal or official thanks when war ended.
I read this book in a matter of days not because it was short but it because it was fascinating to read of people's immediate reaction to events of that time. The diary sized format of the book was great as it meant that it was easy to carry about with me so I was able to read another entry whenever I had a spare five minutes.
I will definitely be reading further work by Carol Harris.
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on 11 February 2011
I read Blitz Diary; Life under Fire as my parents are no longer alive to tell me of their daily lives during the Blitz and as I get older I am becoming more interested in their life experience. The book was really insightful, talking about everyday people going through hell and how it affected them and their family.The book explained the differant sorts of weapons used by the Germans throughout the war and you had a clear sense of what it was like when the doodle bombs etc flew over their homes, wondering whether the engine would cut and the bomb drop etc. What life was like in the shelter's. for raids that were endless. Not knowing when you came out whether your home would have survived another raid. Also the incredibe resiliance in the British people at that time. The mateship and courage displayed by almost everyone. A great book to hand on to my children and grandchildren, written by real people.
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on 10 September 2010
I haven't read the 2 books I bought as they were birthday prezzies, 1) for my elderly Aunt (82) and 2) for my elderly neighbour (84), my neighbour has read hers and said she couldn't put it down, she loved it as it transported her memories back to the days of the blitz in London where she stayed-put during the War with her family in Chelsea, she said that everyone knew someone who was fighting the battle on the Hone Front and Voluntary Services and it stirred-up so many forgotten thoughts for her. I'm looking forward to getting my Aunt's opinion once she's read it as she stayed-put in Tottenham with my Grandparents, my Mum and the rest of my Aunts and Uncles.
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on 29 October 2010
I had the impression from the title that this book was the diary of a specific person but it is in fact extracts from many different diaries and articles. I found this more interesting once I got used to the idea. It is particularly moving to have diary extracts in the earlier sections which turn out to be people who were killed later in the war.
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on 2 August 2010
I have an interest in the Second World War and have read many excellent books about it .
Sadly , this isn't one of them . There doesn't seem to be any structure ; it's more like a collection of people's memories ( which is fine ) , but the result is messy and the Author doesn't seem to have tried very hard to bring any sense of order to the book .
It's also quite expensive for such a small , muddled collection of recollections . Some may like it , but it wasn't for me .
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on 15 September 2011
Over the years there have been very many excellent books written about the Home Front during the period known as The Blitz.`This is definitely not one of them. In many ways the author has been exceedingly lazy by just inserting complete letters, multiple diary entries without really giving any thought to context or timeline. Some of it is even contradictory. This might be a useful introduction for a modern teenager looking for a simple introduction to this part of our history. Otherwise it is not worth the effort of reading.
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