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World War II London Blitz Diary, Volume 1 (World War ll London Blitz Diaries #1)

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  367 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
This Diary was written during the World War two London Blitz years by a woman experiencing the nightly terrifying bombings. The diary reveals what the average Londoner experienced during that time; events that today have been forgotten or lost to younger generations. The diary was not written for publication but as an outlet for the author's thoughts and feelings that coul ...more
ebook, 214 pages
Published August 27th 2011 by Smashwords (first published 2011)
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Sep 22, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
“Friday, September 1
War started today. After another week of lies and duplicity, Hitler launched into actual warfare early this morning. At five thirty this morning he announced the enclosure of Danzig in the Reich, and at five forty five he bombed his first Polish town . . .

The BBC has just announced that King George held a Privy Council this noon, and has signed papers completing the mobilization of our Army, Navy, and Air Forces. Further news to be broadcast at four p.m.”

So begins diary of Ru
Mar 18, 2012 Samantha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction

The book World War II London Blitz Diary Volume 1 edited by Victoria Aldridge Washuk is a special work that will appeal to different group of readers. For the readers that wish to read about how a woman lived during this tumultuous time in history for their personal edification will have an informative read that will be completely satisfying. These readers will obtain a new outlook on how the war prompts and stresses everyday life and how a woman struggles within life, marriage, and religion. Th
Lisa of Hopewell
Jul 30, 2012 Lisa of Hopewell rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I accidentally read the 2nd volume of this diary first, so this is backtracking, but well worth it. While Ruby does get on my last damn nerve moaning about Ted I do appreciate how claustrophobic marriage can become! Better she let it out in her diary. I cannot imagine living thru the years in this volume which cover the actual Blitz--the Battle of Britain.

Merged review:

Got sick of her whining about her husband, but as the editor/grand daughter pointed out she did only do this in her personal dia
Oct 04, 2011 Becki rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting look into the lives of those not on the line, but still very active players in World War 2 (the innocent people who have to live through the atrocities due to location and circumstance). I can't imagine what it would be like to live day to day not knowing who/what would be around when you woke up the next day. And with a husband who is not more attentive, I cannot image what that would be like.

Besides the day to day events, she discusses her thoughts on politics, reli
Oct 06, 2012 April rated it it was amazing
I must read volumes 2,3, and 4.
Caroline Pointer
Apr 20, 2012 Caroline Pointer rated it it was amazing
Telling Stories from the Grave
Consider this quote:

"I want them [the author's children] to be able to look into the mirror of a book, and find me." [Nook Tablet, p.398]

If that's not not talking from the grave, I don't know what is. Ruby Alice Side Thompson is the author of the diary entries contained in the books, World War II London Blitz Diary, Volumes 1-4. Only volumes one through three have been published, and I'm in the middle of volume two. However, I wanted to share what a great read this
Dec 25, 2011 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This diary is a very illuminating look at what life during the London Blitz was like. Life-long diarist Ruby talks about both the external events of WWII and her personal experiences on a day-to-day basis living through the Blitz, as well as general family and society events and opinions. Being able to read something that was being written each day, without the benefit of hindsight as to what was historically significant, was very refreshing. The sheer repetitiveness with which the various air a ...more
Amanda Meuwissen
What I love so much about these diaries, published by the writer's great-granddaughter, is that it isn't historical accounts of specific war events that other records drone on and on about, but real life during the war, how Ruby suffered through it all, and her daily life and tribulations during these years. It's a character study of a real person, a real woman with real troubles and strong opinions she often only felt she could relate in her diaries, never out loud.

I fell in love with Ruby fro
May 24, 2012 Christine rated it really liked it
Even more than the London blitz, this journal provides insight into how married women were viewed by their husbands in the first half of the Twentieth century. The granddaughter, who edits the journal, warns the reader that her Grandmother's words may be offensive--so I didn't know if I would be able to finish the book. However, when it came to it, many of her venting entries were on the status of the married woman, treatment by men, and men and religion. (However, there is one entry where she u ...more
This is volume 1 and a very down to earth, honest diary about the London Blitz in World War II. It is also the same thing about Ruby Thompson's private life and her feelings about her family and husband.
As the bombs drop, she tells of the fear and then the numbness of the experience. She also hates all men for perpetrating the war and destruction of her country, city and personal life.
Ruby's husband leaves her alone much of the time and, when the air raids come, she is terror stricken. This i
KA N Newton
Feb 15, 2013 KA N Newton rated it it was amazing
An excellent book that can be read by 14 +

I got this as a freebie and was overcome with the quality of the writing and the interest it kept going while I was reading.

You have to remember that this book and the others in the series were drafted from actual diaries that the lady must have written in between air raids or during the air raids if there was light.

Worrying about finding enough to eat and if she was bombed out finding clothes.

Worrying if her home would still be standing in the morning,
Patricrk patrick
Sep 23, 2011 Patricrk patrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
If you read someones diary, you get to know them better than you ever would any other way. Read this book and get to know Ruby Thompson. Ruby's diary from the start of World War II is an amazing look at her inner thoughts. The sheer terror and exhaustion she felt as the bombs started falling for seemingly hours on end, day after day is hard for us to imagine. In these days of Internet and mobile phones it is difficult to grasp her isolation with most of her sons in America, her youngest two in t ...more
Peyton Reeser
Sep 16, 2012 Peyton Reeser rated it liked it

This book was just what the title promised, a diary about being a London housewife during WW2.
Not intended to be a work for sharing or something which would end up a book, these are the private thoughts from the POV of a 1940's female and as such provides the reader with an interesting look at how women of this era thought, how they navigated society, how they were treated by husbands, etc. Lots of food for thought and while some of it was clearly whining tinged with some self pity, that judgem
Tay Mueller
Apr 23, 2012 Tay Mueller rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I originally gave this only 2 stars, and very nearly stopped reading it halfway through. I had been reading the Nella Last diaries, and this suffered in comparison.

Nella, although she had a tendency to go on sometimes, gave us a look at the time and place as well as her personal life. For the first half of this book, Ruby never managed to convince me she cared about anything but herself.

It did finally pick up a little, but I currently don't think I'll go on to read the other three volumes. It's
Oct 05, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a book. This book is Ruby Alice Side-Thompson's diary written during WWII in England. Ruby describes bombs falling night and day for days on end. The house rattles and shakes. It really drives home the horrible conditions experienced in England at this time. But this isn't only a diary about war. One gets to know Ruby, her family and neighbors. And her inner personal thoughts about her husband, who she despises and finds intellectually boring. Ruby is also an early feminist, expressing ...more
May 23, 2012 Myrna rated it really liked it
This is the published dairy of a woman who lived through the London blitz. She is interesting because the life she leads is vastly different from her diary writings. She is very intelligent and writes accurate about the war and her personal feelings about it but what is interesting is the revelations of how she really feels, especially about her marriage. She is a true feminist way before it is popular to be one. I am on to volumne 2.
Mar 27, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of four volumes of a diary that was written by Ruby Side Thompson. Volume one spans 1939-1940. In it is details about her marriage and the beginnings of World War II. She gives vivid descriptions of the bombing of London by the Germans. I could actually feel the terror she felt and at times I thought I was actually there with her. It was a very interesting read.
Nov 18, 2011 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A look into another person's private thoughts is always a bit spooky, but in this case it's also hard to put down. We are looking at World War II in Britain from a very personal perspective. As this book shows, the constant stress - and terror - have an impact on everything about this woman and her relationship with her family. It's a fascinating look at history.
Deana Porretta
Jan 07, 2012 Deana Porretta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great view from a woman who lived through the bombings of World War II in England. Her take on how her husband reacts to the war by imersing himself in church and duty, how her sons are invloved in the war, and the sons back in America all give you a sense on the daily life of an English house wife. I'm currently reading the second volume of these diaries.
Feb 15, 2012 Ceri rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
I enjoyed this book, not to sure I'm keen on Ruby I'm afraid, I find her slightly formidable. I did enjoy her writings on the war though. I wish she had included more of her background like why she was back and fore America and what Ted did for a living. Looking forward to the second volume.
Oct 23, 2012 Maryellen rated it it was amazing
This was a great read! I look forward to reading part 2!
Alexis Pasquier
Apr 05, 2012 Alexis Pasquier rated it it was amazing
One of the best diaries that I have read. I highly recommend it
Claire Martin
Feb 08, 2014 Claire Martin rated it liked it
As this book is a published diary it isn't fair to submit the same review I would if it had been written fictionally, I say this, as the first half of the book is a little slow paced, mainly just complaining about her marriage and her husband, but this was real life, and this was her only outlet, having to suck it up in reality. Also, it is mean to want bombs to fall so the story can get exciting, as this was peoples lives, and when the bombs do start to fall, you realise the constant fear they ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Ruby Side Thompson was a lifelong diarist. She poured her heart out in her diaries, the one place she felt safe revealing her unhappiness with her life, and, primarily, her husband.

Her great-granddaughter has published the volumes from World War II. Yes, they were written during the war. Yet she writes infrequently of the effect of war, and usually, it is only to rail against men (as a sex), whom she blames for the war. Men, in fact are blamed for all of society's ills. Unhappily married, and th
Oct 14, 2011 Matt rated it liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book free from goodreads.)

The first person look at WWII in London was insightful. Unless your name is Anne Frank it is probably tough to write a truly compelling diary. Some of Ruby's diary is interesting, but a good portion is repetitive in detailing the nature of relationships in Ruby's neighborhood and with that of her emotionally abusive husband. Do not get me wrong, for Ruby, her time during WWII was obviously traumatic and to a point inspiring, but as a novel i
Lynne Hatter
Oct 10, 2012 Lynne Hatter rated it did not like it
It is not often that I fail to finish a book. This I fear will be one of the few. I am struggling to make it, but am ready to throw in the towel. I bought the book because it sounded very interesting and the reviews talked about how wonderful the book was. I have no idea whose diary they were reading, but the woman who wrote the diary I am reading is definitely not Mrs. Minivar! She is whiny, selfish, and a snob with no reason to be. I detest this woman and I cannot bring myself to care one whit ...more
Apr 21, 2012 Tania rated it did not like it
I started off very interested and even sympathetic in the tales of the protagonist, but by the time the story turned to the seemingly never-ending bombings London endured during WWII, I had all but tuned out. So much of the first half of this book is dedicated to the terrible conditions she considers her life and marraige to be, constantly bouncing between "I'll stay with my husband" to "I hate his guts," that I just wanted the story to end. It's not that I think she was flippant with her compla ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Catherine rated it liked it
Shelves: nook-owned, reviewed
I actually purchased this e-book, thinking it would enhance my understanding of everyday life during the London Blitz. In many ways, it did. I do not regret having read it, right after finishing Connie Willis' "Blackout" and "All Clear". But--since this is a diary, there were a lot of comments that were personal in nature. I could have done without the nonstop bitching that Ruby did about her husband!

Wow, I just discovered a feature here on GoodReads for this book that says 'read E-Book'. Right
Sarah Clark
Dec 18, 2012 Sarah Clark rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this book and it must be the first time I've ever done that. I wouldn't class this as a world War 2 Blitz Diary: the parts that I read barely mentioned the war. Some parts which were included (i.e. mentions of what poiticians had said at the time, for me, appeared to be too word perfect to be a personal recollection. Some of the text uses American syntax and spelling which leads me to quesiotns the authenticity of the book (the perpetrator is supposed to be English and in the dia ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it
After you muck thru the beginning of it with all the self centeredness, it becomes much better. Yet you have to keep in mind, it's a diary, where a woman spills out all those feelings and frustrations she can share no where else. A personal peek inside her mind and of those days long gone with the frustrations of a time most of us can no longer understand. I liked that more than the historical aspect of the London bombings in 1940. Glad her granddaughter thought it fit to publish.
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Other Books in the Series

World War ll London Blitz Diaries (4 books)
  • World War II: London Blitz Diary, Volume 2
  • World War II: London Blitz Diary, Volume 3: 1942-1943
  • World War II: London Blitz Diary, Volume 4: 1944

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