Tuesday, April 25, 2017

For Your Reading Pleasure 4/25/17

Today I'm sharing the book Home Fires (photo is a link to Amazon) by Julie Summers. The book was first published as Jambusters in the UK, and then apparently republished after the tv series was in production.

The tv series is excellent, and it's so disappointing that it has been cancelled after only its second season. There is a move to have it continue, and I hope it will be back.

Mostly I'm sharing this book to make sure people who like the series and are expecting the book to be a novel about Great Paxford and all its beloved residents, that they know this book is a non-fiction history book about the Women's Institute, aka WI, during WWII. It is definitely not a novel, and almost reads like a textbook. 

But I have enjoyed reading and learning, although it's slow-going. I have about 100 pages left. The book is a thorough study of, and contains the best take-aways from, probably hundreds(?) of records, letters, and interviews of the ladies of the WI and the various organizations holding some sway over their activities during the war.

The chapters are lengthy and chock-full of stats and letters and quotes. But it's all interesting to me. I do think it would have helped immensely to break up the chapters with subheadings, but maybe that's just an older-age preference of mine.

The book has me thinking about how much the WI women knew how to do, or were willing to learn, in order to improve and help their homes, villages, and country. They were a remarkable group, some 330,000 strong, housing evacuees, feeding England, keeping soldiers warm with knit garments, and so much more. Often while planes flew overhead and bombs dropped nearby.

Me? When I married I didn't know how to bake a potato. Or much else. I've never canned anything; and when I tried it, I found I hated sewing. I do love to knit, but am mostly foiled by arthritis these days.  All this to say: Brava, Ladies of the WI. Well done, indeed.

Blessings to my precious family, friends, and all my lovely visitors,
PS: I am an Amazon Associate. Thank you so much for looking at these books (and you can always check with your local library). If you do enter Amazon and buy anything at all via one of my links, it costs you nothing extra and gives me a little credit for buying books for myself. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


  1. Thank you for the review of Home Fires. I'm not a member of the WI although we do have a branch in our village and I know that this organisation has done good work in the area of encouraging good standards in different aspects of homemaking, serving the community and creating bonds of friendship and support especially in rural areas. I belong to the Mothers' Union which is a church based association. We meet monthly and some of our activities are similar to those of the WI. We also support families in practical ways in our area and overseas.

    1. Your group sounds wonderful, Linda. Yes, the WI reminded me of the UMW group I went to for several years (United Methodist Women). We were small, but seemed to get a lot done to help others. The work the WI did during WWII was staggering, though! And mostly, according to the author, with cheerful attitudes. Hope you are feeling well! Bess


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