Thursday, June 10, 2010
Henrietta's War: News From The Home Front 1939 - 1942 by Joyce Dennys
What a truly delightful book to read! I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Joyce Dennys' book, Henrietta's War: News From The Home Front 1939 - 1942; in fact I read it straight through in one sitting because I didn't want to put it down. Here is the blurb from the back of the book (it'll give you an idea of what this little gem is all about):
Spirited Henrietta wishes she was the kind of doctor's wife who knew exactly how to deal with the daily upheavals of war. But then, everyone in her close-knit Devonshire village seems to find different ways to cope: There's the indomitable Lady B, who writes to Hitler every night to tell him precisely what she thinks of him; the terrifyingly efficient Mrs. Savernack, who relishes the opportunity to sit on umpteen committees and boss everyone around; flighty, flirtatious Faith, who is utterly preoccupied with the latest hats and with flashing her legs; and Charles, Henrietta's hardworking husband, who manages to sleep through a bomb landing in their neighbor's garden.
With life turned upside down under the shadow of war, Henrietta chronicles the dramas, squabbles, and loyal friendships that unfold in her affectionate letters to her "dear childhood friend" Robert. Warm, witty, and perfectly observed, Henrietta's War: News From The Home Front 1939 - 1942 brings to life a sparkling community of determined troopers who pull together to fight the good fight with patriotic fervor and good humor.
Talk about a wonderfully, charming book to read. I absolutely loved that the book was compiled of letters Henrietta wrote to her "dear childhood friend" Robert during the war - it made for such an engaging read, because you couldn't help but wonder what Robert thought of these letters filled with bits and bobs about the eclectic circle of friends Henrietta surrounded herself with. Also, the illustrations she included with her letters made me laugh out loud quite a few times - it was great to see a picture of Mrs. B ice skating and a picture of Henrietta with a hot-water bottle strapped to her back while she was gardening - loved it! The writing was splendid, because it was filled with such detail and humor. And Dennys' tone was mocking, sweet, and completely entertaining. The characters were such a joy to read about that you could definitely see the fun Dennys' had in creating them all. All in all, I think that Dennys' idea to use fiction as a means for bringing laughter to people who were struggling to see the light during the dark times of war, truly showed what a talented and genuine writer she was. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!
Happy Reading to all!