viernes, 19 de julio de 2013

Few Eggs and No Oranges: The Diaries of Vere Hodgson 1940-45

Vere Hodgson lived in London during Second World War, working for a charity. Conscious of the momentous times she was living and having relatives living abroad, she decided to start a diary to record her day-to-day life in the Home Front. Few Eggs and No Oranges is a selection of her diary entries.

It is obvious that Vere Hodgson wrote this home-front diary to be read by a broader public, because it is engaging and some times even humorous, she is thorough about key events of Second World War and the effect they had on day-to-day life. Besides, even if she describes herself as a common Londoner, she had had direct contact with Mussolini as teacher of his daughter, and commented on some of the events with more inside knowledge than any ordinary person would.

However, there was something I didn't entirely like - Vere's voice. She was too enamoured of Churchill and full of British pride to be critic, and appears more concerned about buildings than people. The only really emotional Vere we glimpse is when Auntie Nell dies. I guess the second part wasn't really so, given that she worked as a welfare assistant, but I expected more accounts of raided people and how they coped than tours of the ruins.

An excerpt from the last entry in the diary:

(May 1945) Victory in Europe Day, Tuesday 8th. Today we have been celebrating! [...] In the evening we had our own party. We were quite a United Nations. A Russian, a Swiss, a Channel Islander, a Scot-cum-Welsh and me, a true-blue English Midlander. [...] We drank numerous Toasts... Churchill, Stalin, Auntie Nell, Kit's father in Guernsey... [...] God bless him [Churchill].

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