Tag Archive for WWII

Book Review: Henrietta Sees It Through: More News From The Homefront 1942-1945 by Joyce Dennys

Henrietta Sees It Through: More News From The Homefront 1942-1945 by Joyce Dennys After giving up on several books that just weren’t that good, I was glad to receive a copy of Henrietta Sees It Through: More News from the Home Front 1942-1945 by Joyce Dennys in the mail, as part of the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I’m a bit behind on reviewing some of the other books I’ve gotten recently, so I decided to start this one right away.

Written as letters to a friend fighting in Europe during WWII, “Henrietta Sees It Through” follows Henrietta Brown, her family, and friends through the trials and tribulations of wartime England. However, it’s a lot lighter than most WWII books I’ve read recently, including amusing illustrations throughout, and it focuses on some of the everyday things that changed at this time.

I thought this was such a sweet book, and it felt slightly reminiscent of P.G. Wodehouse, though Henrietta and her friends are not quite as mischievous as Bertie Wooster and his friends. It’s a very enjoyable read, even if you’ve not read the first volume, as I hadn’t. I plan on looking for that first volume, as well as the other books in this collection from Bloomsbury Group.

Book Review: Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz

Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz I was browsing the shelf of new fiction books at my local library, when I came across Displaced Persons by Ghita Schwarz. I think I’d heard about it somewhere before, but it sounded interesting from the cover description, so I checked it out.

The book starts just as World War II has ended, following several people who have survived the concentration camp at Belsen. Despite the horrific things they have experienced, they are still alive and initially are being supported by the Allied forces, collecting rations and trying to get by.

As the main characters regain their strength and try to move on, they work hard to start new lives, and the book follows them over the years, as the various people leave Europe for Israel and the US. Although they leave Europe behind, their memories and experiences still follow them as they grow older and start their own families.

Initially, I was really struck by the writing style of the book, for how clean and concise it was. It also has a steady measure to it that forces you to slow down a bit and notice the smaller things, without getting too caught up in flourishes and details. However, the plot was not as strong, and sort of waned later on.

The first half of the book was fairly strong, and really kept my interest. I wanted to see and understand what the characters were going through, and how they coped and tried to return to a more normal life. But, after awhile, the plot wasn’t as strong, perhaps because there seemed to be less conflict, less drama in some ways.

I think I can understand what Schwarz was trying to do, to follow a group of people — who seemed almost impossibly interconnected — who had experienced something so horrific, were able to build their own lives, and yet were still affected by their experiences. I just don’t know that the latter half of the book was quite as interesting to read, and I had to push on at a few points, just to finish the book.