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on 20 February 2008
A fantastic book, I couldn't put it down. Nella could never have imagined that her diaries would have such meaning so many years after she wrote them. The detail is interesting in it's own right and well written. I love the ins and outs of Nella's life and difficulties. I am interested in the people she writes about. I worry for her sons with her. But beyond that, she has made me look at myself. I have started to look at the way I cook, wastage, how to make things last and go further. The book has made me consider some of my own personal relationships and opened my eyes to the way a mother feels and thinks about her son. It has had me thinking about my grandmother and how she would have gone through the same thing. I hope Nella can look down and know how wonderful this book is.
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on 3 July 2007
This incredible woman achieved so much during the second world war, her and many other woman faced their men folk being lost at war, surviving on rations, keeping body and soul together during air raids and trying to do their bit.

This book brought tears, admiration and I have to say a bit of shame - if I could do half the things that Nella did I would be happy.

This is a wonderful book - wholly recommended. It gives you another side to war, when you think of war you think of men dying and destruction, this book shows how women coped during their darkest hours and how they rallied round in times of need.
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VINE VOICEon 18 September 2007
Like many other reviewers here, I bought this book having enjoyed the TV dramatisation so much. I was not disappointed! There is a great deal to enjoy as the diaries give so much detail about many different aspects of life during the Second World War. Nella's growing awareness of her own abilities and her increased self-confidence as she has to tackle new challenges are an indication of the changes in women's lives that would eventually surface during the following decades. She speaks to us so directly through these diaries, that you feel totally involved in her experiences. She also displays humour and perception, and I was sorry to come to the end of the book.
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on 21 July 2017
A good read.
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on 3 May 2017
Very good.
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on 20 March 2017
Good
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on 20 April 2017
Saw the television play, loved it and the book is brilliant.
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on 20 December 2014
An extremely enjoyable read.
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on 29 July 2007
Without a doubt this has got to be one of the most wonderful, thought provoking, emotional yet rewarding books I've ever read. There wasn't a single part of this book I didn't like, I wanted to savour every bit of it. Nella Last is someone who I came to greatly admire. She was resourceful, kind, helpful and very sensitive and thoughtful.
She always strived to do the best by her family and look after others - and despite her own nerves, depression and anxiety she did a sterling job. I felt such empathy with her when she described her anxieties, her tears and her down days - even though our experiences are poles and decades apart - nothing really changes in the human psyche.
I loved her vivid descriptions of the food she cooked, how she scrimped and saved and put by and still managed to create all these nourishing meals so that her husband and her sons didn't go hungry. How she found time to do all she did is a mystery, but she did it and it was people like her that kept our country going.
I'm really sorry to have finished the book and not have any more of it to read such was the quality of the writing. I felt as though I knew all the family, and was party to so many secrets.
I can't really find enough superlatives to describe it - a required read for anyone interested in history or anything to do with the Wars. Nella's beautifully honed prose is a delight to read, and something that Victoria Wood also captured beautifully in her reworking of the diary for TV.
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on 30 May 2017
A talent almost wasted. She should have written books for a living. Anyone who thinks they are having a hard time working, maintaining a home and family should read this book. Reminds you of how patriotic, resilient and determined people had to be during the war, and how little they had materially. A must read for the younger generation particularly the female gender.
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