Family history is what brought me to this book. Lottie`s paternal grandmother, Lizzie Spencer in the book, is my aunt, my father`s oldest sister. Although the book is semi-fictional, there is much which is true and accurate. I found it fascinating to read more about this branch of my family. Many of the details are known to me, but Lizzie Spence has managed the welding together of fact and "filler" skilfully to make the book more readable. It is always difficult to write an account of real lives when many of the personal details, and the everyday lives are not known. The book will be of interest to anyone involved in family history research as well as anyone interested in this period of history and the lives of ordinary people at this time.
In this semi-biographical story, Lizzie Spence recounts the life of one individual (her mother, Lottie Roelich) from the day she was born in 1923 through the years of the second world war, until the death of her beloved grandmother in 1959. We learn of a much simpler time, unencumbered with mobile phones, computers and the internet, where families met frequently and talked face to face. It was a simpler time, but not necessarily an easy life for Lottie as she soon learns when, from the age of 6 she begins to take on the responsibility for much of the early care of her three younger sisters. We follow Lottie’s progress as she becomes a young woman, and experiences those difficult teenage years, made harder with the outbreak of the war at the age of 16, and the sorrow it brings. Lottie was a woman who ‘did her duty’ not only for her immediate family, but also for the war effort when she signed up to become a Wren in the Royal Navy. Many of the stories in this book will spark memories of similar experiences for those that grew up in that period, but they will also remind us all of the importance of the support of a caring family in our daily lives.