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Austen to Zafón

Reading widely since 1972.

Currently reading

A London Family, 1870-1900: A Trilogy
Molly Hughes
The Cellist of Sarajevo
Steven Galloway
Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher
Lewis Thomas
All the Names
José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa
A History of the World in 100 Objects
Neil MacGregor
Down the Garden Path
Beverley Nichols
Virtue Betray'd, Or, Anna Bullen
John Banks
Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks
Swallows and Amazons
Arthur Ransome
Illusion in java
Gene Fowler
Nella Last's Peace: The Post-War Diaries Of Housewife, 49 - Nella Last The title is a bit misleading. As Nella says, "The only peace is that there are no active hostilities, but the corrosion of the war years is eating deeper into civiliisation." While the war years were difficult and frightening for Brits, they were also exciting and drew people together in an effort to make things better. The post-war years had many of the same difficulties of the war, but without the comradery and cheerful "we'll see it through" attitude. Rationing when on for years (for example, gas was rationed until 1950) and in some cases was worse than during the war. Many women were single parents living in reduced circumstances. People couldn't see an end to economic distress. As with the first book of her diaries, Nella is an observant and dedicated recorder of her time. Her sons have moved away and she is feeling her years. Yet she is still a lively and sensitive person, finding happiness in the beauty of the countryside, the warmth of a fire, and her ability to make tasty and satisfying food from very little. I would love to sit down with her for one of her teas. No doubt her high standards would find me wanting as a housewife (I can't imagine anyone as industrious as she is), but I think we could see eye-to-eye on other things and have a laugh or two.