My love affair with The Bloomsbury Group publishing goes on, I adore their covers (and the content of course too) and although I read them on Kindle I was more than happy to buy some books for gifts.
Growing up in Poland our war literature was extremely depressing, dark and intense. We also, as a nation, like to be martyrs and obviously the circumstances and experiences were completely different and that’s what the literature portrayed. The books were brilliant and I still like to re-read many of them, this is probably why I like dark realistic literature with no happy endings.
Living in UK however made me look at war from a different perspective and recently I read many war books that were cheerful, motivating and humorous, books about bravery in everyday life.
Henrietta’s War by Joyce Dennys is one of those books. It tells a story (in letters) of inhabitants of a Devonshire village and their daily struggles and challenges during the war years. Dennys created a wonderful set of characters who are trying to survive the war by keeping together, taking up odd activities, being creative with food shortages and still stressing about weeds in their gardens. The book is hilarious and as a bonus there are delightful little illustrations throughout which will make you laugh out loud.
This book is probably the funniest war book I’ve ever read and it has a second part – Henrietta Sees It Through, which I can’t wait to read.
Here are some of my other favourite books describing WWII:
One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
Pigeon Pie by Nancy Mitford (and her other books including The Pursuit of Love)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
What are your favourite books from the era?