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Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 (The Bloomsbury Group) by Joyce Dennys

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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 flashing her shapely legs; and then there's Charles, Henrietta's hard-working husband who manages to sleep through a bomb landing in their neighbour'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 brings to life a sparkling community of determined troupers who pull together to fight the good fight with patriotic fervour and good humour.

Henrietta's War is part of The Bloomsbury Group, a new library of books from the early twentieth-century chosen by readers for readers.




Reviews (7)
Rude
This short collection of fictional (but based on real life) stories of village life in the early days of World War II is funny and endearing. Told in the form of letters from the middle-aged Henrietta to an old friend who is off with the British Expeditionary Force, it paints a lively picture of the characters of a village on the south coast.

Henrietta’s world consists of her husband Charles, an overworked doctor, the local Lady (who is not at all haughty or overbearing), the self-styled leader of the village women (who is both haughty and overbearing), her sometimes frivolous friend Faith, the Admiral who is also the local magistrate, evacuees, short-term residents, daily help and Henrietta’s drama queen of a dog. Her letters can elevate the most mundane events into high comedy, especially when you turn a page and see her cartoons illustrating the events.

Anyone who enjoyed Nella Last’s War or other contemporary accounts of everyday life in England in World War II should have fun with this.
Nikojas
Set at the beginning of World War 2, this book is a series of letters between Henrietta, a doctor's wife, and her childhood friend Robert, who is off in France, fighting. Henrietta lives in a village in Devon, and describes the preparation for a potential invasion in all their quirks and absurdities. We hear about the local characters and gossip, as well as some of Henrietta's well intentioned deeds that sometimes go terribly awry. Her stories cover everything from covering the windows with fabric, including a pair of her husband's favorite pajamas, to air raid siren drills, the challenges of rationing (the lack of rouge is handled by one woman by growing red geraniums, while another makes a disastrous attempt at marmalade), and Henrietta's attempt at a victory garden. There are a variety of colorful characters, from a woman who writes Hitler a letter each night, to the Ladies Aid society in their precise uniforms who deem Henrietta's sewing and knitting skills to be subpar for the war effort. It is a delightful and humorous look at English life and the small, but powerful strengths and resolve of a people at war. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.
SoSok
This is a sequel to Henrietta's War and covers the last three years of the the war. It was originally published serially in Sketch. The book is in the form of letters written by Henrietta, a doctor's wife on the rural English coast, to a friend and neighbor who is away on the front. While she tells her friend she's sending along news of the village to give him a glimpse of something other than war, she details the effect of the war on the locals, from collecting metal for the war effort, to taking in evacuees from London, to the loss of family in combat. The author uses a dry, witty sense of humor to present the sacrifice and tragedies in a restrained way but the courage of the people comes through. The humor is distinctly British. The book gives a wonderful sense of place and people during this historical time.
Aver
Follow the adventures of Henrietta Brown as she and her neighbors keep the home fires burning in WWII Devon. This semi-autobiographical account gives one an idea of what day to day life must have been yet instills a subtle dry humor that keeps the reader coming back for more. Henrietta battles weeds and lumbago while digging for victory (complete with a hot water bottle tied to her back!)Husband Charles and demanding Perry the dog learn to live with rationing and Faith the divorcee shocks the ladies by learning to cook, but her secret recipe for marmalade isn't quite the success she had hoped!And will Henrietta go to prison when she shows a light during the blackout? You'll have to read it to see! My own copy of this book is falling apart and I've glued the pages back in many times. It definitely gets my 'book to take to a desert island' award.
Abandoned Electrical
Fictional letters from Henrietta in Devon to her childhood friend serving in the military during World War II. Typical English characters - local doctor, titled aristocrat, retired colonel, portrayed with gentle affection. I liked this book very much.
FLIDER
I loved this book after borrowing it from the library, so I bought a copy for me and one for my sister. Then I bought the second book, Henrietta Sees It Through. I wish she had written even more. Very sweet, expressed how the war affected everyone, she's English, but also showed the strong spirit of the people during it. Just a very nice little book and worth every penny.
Zeueli
Henrietta's fictional letters make a wonderfully warm and funny accounting of the British home front during World War II. In many ways, the tone of this book reminds me of the Provincial Lady diaries. Peopled with eccentric friends and neighbors as well as Henrietta herself and her long-suffering doctor husband, the book is a wonderful "comfort" read. I've had this title in print for a long time but was thrilled to find that the sequel was available as well and both could be purchased for kindle.
Really excellent book. I love novels that take place during the 1930's and 40's, and what a treat this Book was actually written in that time period. After reading the description I just had to read it for myself. Its funny and sad and lets us know what it must have been like doing normal daily living during WWII in England. I am glad that the Bloomsbury Group has brought some of these older published books back into print.

ISBN: 1608190498

Rating: 4.9/5

Votes: 708

Other Formats: lrf mbr lit docx

ISBN13: 978-1608190492

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA (April 13, 2010)

Language: English

Subcategory: Genre Fiction

Pages: 176

Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 (The Bloomsbury Group)
Literature & Fiction
Author: Joyce Dennys
Title: Henrietta's War: News from the Home Front 1939-1942 (The Bloomsbury Group)