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War Crimes For The Home

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  311 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
`You know what they say about English girls' knickers,' ran the wartime joke, `One Yank and they're off.' When Gloria met Ron, he was an American pilot who thought nothing of getting hit by shrapnel in the cockpit. She was working in a munitions factory in Bristol during the Blitz, but still found time to grab what she wanted. Ciggies. Sex. American soldiers. But war has a ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published April 7th 2003 by Bloomsbury Publishing (first published 2002)
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Charity shop Bury St Edmunds. Withdrawn from Kirklees Cultural Services

Dedication: For my mother, Valerie Jensen, and in memory of my father, Niels Rosenvinge Jensen

'If you dig deep enough, all our secrets are the same'
- Amos Oz

Description: 'You know what they say about English girls' knickers,' ran the wartime joke, `One Yank and they're off.' When Gloria met Ron, he was an American pilot who thought nothing of getting hit by shrapnel in the cockpit. She was working in a munitions factory in
Poor Gloria. Has to live through WWII and then her sister nicks her man. And then she grows up to be a crazy old lady in a nursing home with one son she can remember and a daughter she can't. Meanwhile, she keeps seeing the ghost of a drowned little girl and the ghost of her recently departed friend from the nursing home.

Gloria's narrative voice is very much like 9-year-old Louis Drax's in "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax." They both describe things in a similar way, except Gloria has a much dirtie
Carol Fenlon
Jun 15, 2016 Carol Fenlon rated it it was amazing
This was a book I couldn't put down. Jensen's wartime settings seem perfectly authentic but there are no romantic notions about life in that period. I loved Gloria's voice and her eccentric and flawed character. At times she is thoroughly objectionable but the fact that nearly everyone does the dirty on her makes the reader feel great sympathy for her. The book is saved from being just another book about how people survived through WW2 by Jensen's presentation of it in flashback with Gloria now ...more
Robert Butler
Dec 29, 2013 Robert Butler rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book 3.5/5 but you can't do half stars.

I was drawn to this book because I have an interest for the home front during WWII (ok - it was a Kindle daily deal as well!). The book is based on Gloria and the story of her life, although it mostly flips between her war years and the present (in a retirement home, with a touch of dementia).

The story starts off well, with Gloria working in a munitions factory during the war, and how she and her sister coped with the war. She meets an
Jan 10, 2008 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, audio-books
Creepy and funny and excellent, just like all Liz Jensen's other books. Tells the story of a British woman during WWII. Romantic, sad, and really weird and horrifying matters ensue. TO make a long review short, war sucks and it really fucks people up. Pardon my language.
Apr 24, 2008 Florbela rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A brilliant book with a different view of the WW II.
Nov 22, 2016 Beky-Mae rated it it was amazing
Upon starting this book I knew instantly I was going to enjoy it . I love disjointed time sequences when they are done right and the Author doesn't romantises war time England she captures the struggles and emotions quite well . It will engage you, make you smile and will make you feel contentment in tragedy.
Apr 18, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok
War Crimes for the Home. Liz Jensen. 2002. Bloomsbury. 225 pages. ISBN 074756146x.

War Crimes for the Home is about foul-mouthed, sensuous young Cockney woman Gloria Winstanley, who works with sister Marje in a munitions factory during World War II and is on the hunt for love. The novel actually spans back and forth from present time, in which Gloria is an Alzheimer's patient in a nursing home to the past during her Blitz experiences. The mystery surrounding the novel has to deal with a chunk of
Dec 02, 2010 Alistair rated it really liked it
i really liked this . although not very long it packs a mighty punch and carries the reader backwards and forwards from the 2nd world war to today . seamlessly through the memories of Gloria a blackhumoured girl who worked in a munitions factory and got up to all sorts in the live now die later turmoil of war .
She is confronted with the past as she lies in a nursing home and it is pretty messy involving GI's , betrayal by her sister , revenge and babies appearing where they shouldn't .
I liked th
Dec 07, 2011 Graceann rated it liked it
Gloria is in a nursing home, suffering with dementia and time is slowing down for her. It seems, however, that before she leaves, she'll have to deal with some history that she thought she'd buried.

In this cleverly constructed novel, Liz Jensen teases the story out of Gloria in a series of dictated memories and flashbacks as she reveals more and more of what happened when she was young and pert and fell in love with a GI who was "overpaid, oversexed and over here." The memories that emerge in d
Hilary G
Dec 12, 2012 Hilary G rated it liked it
I loved this book. It was very simply written and full of truth about the human condition. None of them were very explicit but they did not need to be. We are all human, we understand. Gloria was just an ordinary girl with the hopes and dreams of many young girls. Yes, she was shallow, a bit common and not very bright, but my heart was breaking for her as it was obvious what the sister was up to. The book made me think about what it was like for our parents in the war. I know my dad's hopes and ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable and heart warming read. Gloria is a feisty and sometimes foul mouthed old lady who loves her son and dislikes his wife. After a stroke she finds herself in a care home where her mind wanders occasionally and she struggles to remember the past - or does she?
This story takes us into Gloria's colourful past and back to the present where some startling facts are about to come to light.

Gloria is a fabulous character, full of life and colour but she has her sadnesses. Loves a good jok
Jul 15, 2010 F.R. rated it it was ok
An old lady suffering from senility in a care home has the secrets of her past coaxed out of her.

This novel is good at evoking war time England, and kudos should be given for having more bawdiness than one normally expects from a book set in that period, but in the end I just felt – so what? The actual revelations are easy to spot and all seem a slender basis for even a short novel of 225 pages. There are lot of chapters here where nothing much happens at all.

When it enjoys its inevitable Radio
Apr 04, 2013 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2013
This was alright - readable, well-written and interesting - but I feel sure I'll forget it soon enough. I liked the gritty, grubby attitude of the main character, Gloria, but I also felt a lack of connection with her - maybe because she seemed to have a lack of connection herself with her own life. She talked about love for the GI who betrayed her and love for her son, but it just didn't convince. I don't think this was a story about love for a moment. Just a story about how life can be a bit sh ...more
Elizabeth Brown
Jul 16, 2016 Elizabeth Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elizabeth-brown
A wonderful telling of a young woman's life and experiences as remembered through the tangled mind of the now elderly, semi-dementia resident of a care home. The beauty of the storytelling is the voice of Gloria; a no holds barred, foul-mouthed septuagenarian, still with a healthy appetite for sex.
I loved how she was shown to have total disregard for anything that didn't suit her (a nightmare to be around, but funny to read.) Although this book is a humorous read, there is a lot of pathos too; l
Feb 20, 2013 Nicki rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, ww2, contemporary
This is a very odd book. It's disjointed, but that's a deliberate choice by the author, who's chosen to write it from the perspective of an elderly woman with dementia. Gloria is in an old people's home and is facing pressure from others to reveal secrets about her past. Gloria, however, is having none of it. Feisty, foul-mouthed and forthright, she doesn't give up her secrets easily.

I did find the format wearing, without the usual indications of speech and no clarity on who's talking.

It's a qu
Jul 10, 2016 Js100 rated it really liked it
This is the rather sad tale of Gloria, now amnesiac, but full of rough humour, yet ultimately redemptive. It unpeels a wartime story, that feels authentic, and whilst its not hard to see where its heading, there are a few twists. Its short and quite pacey, and sexually explicit, I read it quickly but think it may stay awhile. I enjoyed it. I met a character whilst working on the railway 50 years ago, who had some of the same hard boiled characteristics as the later Gloria.
Emma Woodcock
Sep 08, 2011 Emma Woodcock rated it it was ok
i read this because I had really enjoyed My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time, which was frivolous, frothy, jolly nonsense. This wasn't at all what I was expecting. By turns, I found it irritating, depressing, repetitive, pointless. By the end I felt that the author was striving to make some big point about crime and memory and culpability, but I failed to grasp whatever that point was. Thoroughly disliked it (though I did enjoy the joke about jesus walking on water).
the gift
More fun than expected. Alive, comic, ribald, voice of an aged woman recalling her private war in the years of the second world war. Not a polite, ennobling, tale of sacrifice and sorrow. Not a clean, warm, cuddly, sort of protagonist, a sympathetic plot. Fast, easy read, but maybe more truthful recount of what the world was experienced as, in those years by the average civilian woman, rather than soldiers or men in power. Read this in one sitting.
Avid Reader
Apr 16, 2013 Avid Reader rated it liked it
Not brilliant, ok. This story left me with mixed emotions. I. did not like the main character at all! However it is told with brutal honesty! It flashes back and forth through WWII and more recent times when Gloria is now in her 80s and suffering with dementia. She blocks out her terrible past until eventually having to confront it and find inner peace.
Georgie Johnson
Mar 13, 2013 Georgie Johnson rated it really liked it
Extraordinary book.i love Liz Jensen's writing. I'm sure this isn't everyone's cup of tea but it is a nice twist on the Second World War novel that bounces between the war and present day where Gloria is now in an old people's home. You can never tell what to expect from this author - apart from excellent writing and plots and protagonists that are distinctly different.
Sara Wilson
Feb 14, 2013 Sara Wilson rated it really liked it

This is a thought-provoking read, beautifully written from the point of view of an elderly lady suffering from dementia. Or is she? Secrets, lies and truth blur in her murky memories of wartime life and death.
Manda Graham
Oct 11, 2011 Manda Graham rated it really liked it
I read this book within a couple of days and really enjoyed it. It did feel a bit light in places and relied on some huge leaps of faith, but I found the querky way the story was told made up for this and kept me interested throughout.

An unusual angle on life for women during World War II.
Nov 07, 2008 Windy rated it really liked it
What a quirky book! Gloria, an unreliable narrator, tells us about her life in the WW2 and currently in a nursing home. Her memories fail her and so the story flits about but the reader slowly pieces together the story of what really happened.

Funny, sad and compelling.
Jun 23, 2009 Sandra rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2009
I got it, because I realy liked "My dirty little book of stolen time" by the same author.

An interesting read, which I enjoyed. I had to keep going to find out the truth in the end.
But sometimes the writing style (bad grammar on purpose) got on my nerves.

Bernadette Robinson
Review to follow.
Gemma Clarke
Feb 28, 2012 Gemma Clarke rated it it was amazing
Not exactly a challenging read but very entertaining. I really enjoyed it (",) slutfairy became my favourite insult!
Christopher Roden
Jan 27, 2015 Christopher Roden rated it really liked it
Humorous, bawdy, noir, a tad sad, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Feb 20, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it
Excellent from start to finish!
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Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a Danish father and an Anglo-Moroccan mother. She spent two years as a journalist in the Far East before joining the BBC, first as a journalist, then as a TV and radio producer. She then moved to France where she worked as a sculptor began her first novel, Egg Dancing, which was published in 1995. Back in London she wrote Ark Baby (1998) which wa ...more
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