When the War is Over by Barbara Fox
|When the War Is Over by Barbara Fox|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Two siblings are evacuated from Newcastle during the war and soon find that they love their new home so much that they never want to leave.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 352||Date: July 2016|
Gwenda and Douglas Brady were a brother and sister from Newcastle who were evacuated to the Lake District during the Second World War. When the War is Over tells Gwenda's story of evacuee life in the idyllic village of Bampton, where they spent several years living with a kindly schoolmaster and his wife. As they settled into village life, Gwenda and Douglas found it harder and harder to come to terms with the idea that they would have to return home to their parents at some point.
For the Brady siblings, village life was a world way from their home in Newcastle. They could spend their days exploring the countryside, fishing, climbing and having plenty of adventures. Gwenda's more dangerous exploits included playing inside the forbidden mill wheel, venturing into a field containing a bull and losing control of a bicycle that was much too big for her. The Bradys adored their new life and grew very fond of the loving 'Uncle' and 'Auntie' who had opened up their home to them.
The book gives a warm and accurate portrayal of life for the evacuees, in a world where simple pleasures brought so much joy to people. A Christmas gift may have been a home-made doll, a book or a knitted jumper, but the children seemed to appreciate these things and treasure them. Even at the tender age of 6, Gwenda was reading quite advanced books from the family library, including classic poetry and Great Expectations. Foods that we take for granted were scarce and Gwenda's mum made 'banana sandwiches' using mashed potato mixed with a little banana essence. Although it sounds quite unpalatable, the siblings apparently couldn't distinguish it from the real thing!
When the War is Over is a beautifully written nostalgia trip and is a delight to read. It was interesting to read about the warm relationship that grew between the children and their adopted family and it is hard to imaging what a wrench it must have been for both sides when the war finally did come to an end. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.
For an enjoyable fictional account of life for evacuees, we recommend The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.
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