Moving tale of one young man in France joining the Resistance. He had a brother who tried to live a normal life. And he hadn'tThis is probably 3 1/2*.
Moving tale of one young man in France joining the Resistance. He had a brother who tried to live a normal life. And he hadn't involved his parents or sisters in his work. However, his sisters decided for involvement on their own. However, he was betrayed and was injured. Determined to escape, despite his injuries. Hard to believe being injured is lucky but in this case he was not seriously questioned/tortured.
So many times in this book people seem to escape capture by a hair's breadth. Or, the totally innocent are taken.
Their father had never talked about World War I, and they turned not to be much different. They never spoke of their experiences during World War II and would leave the room if a show about it came on the television.
Eventually, only one of the sisters remains alive. Her now adult children persuade her that the time has come to tell her story. Everyone else is dead. If she doesn't talk the story will die with her and that can't be. She does eventually write it down and a daughter has an acquaintance to spice her story up. And Kaiser comes for a visit and devours her story. He, too, had been urging her to tell the story. And with some further research, this is the book came about.
He concludes with a quote from Anthony Eden. Basically "no one who has not been occupied can know what it is like, cannot judge those who have been." (or something along those lines) Or perhaps has the right to judge. Or can tell what they would have done.
I listened to the book. I'm not sure that I would have picked this book up or even how I came across it. Just browsing on Overdrive at the library? Not sure. But an engrossing book. And what I would imagine is a page-turning book.
Finished this book this morning. Fascinating. We look at both a bomber and its crew and young pilot and a German fighter pilot.
The author originallyFinished this book this morning. Fascinating. We look at both a bomber and its crew and young pilot and a German fighter pilot.
The author originally had not wanted to cover any part of the German side. But when he talked to Charlie Brown he was urged to also talk to Franz Stigler, the German ace who made a fateful decision when he met with Brown over the skies of Germany.
What we get is a thorough view of the young Franz Stigler. I was particularly intrigued when I learned of his brother's connection with "The White Rose". The White Rose.
Franz started the war as an instructor of pilots, wasn't particularly interested in the war. Not so after his brother crashed on take-off. My opinion was that the brother might have committed suicide after The White Rose group had been busted and executed. Franz had no idea he was interested in it but he later found their leaflets in his brother's things.
Excellent view of Stigler's life as a fighter pilot in Africa, Sicily and Germany/Austria. He was with JV-44, a squadron of experts....more
I think when I started this I read about 5 pages and put it aside. So it is a fairly quick read. Includes the lists of books that were sent. ExtensiveI think when I started this I read about 5 pages and put it aside. So it is a fairly quick read. Includes the lists of books that were sent. Extensive Notes but no Bibliography. Index. I expected Notes/Bibliography but am not sure I expected an Index.
Found it fascinating how everyone worked together. The President said the war was about books. Hitler burned them and we sent them with soldiers, but never enough. The President started a book drive and the librarians helped. The problem was that they weren't getting the right kind of books. People were getting rid of the books they wanted to get rid of, not necessarily the type a soldier might like to read. So they didn't really need children's books, cooking books, gardening books, etc. They wanted books that solders would want to read in their foxholes or wherever.
A council was created to review the kind of books the men would want. Short stories, poetry, historical fiction, history, geography, etc. Of course there was dispute about some of the things the soldiers wanted, some more racier titles like Forever Amber and Strange Fruit.
Loved the letters from the soldiers to the authors that were included. Would have loved to have seen more of those. They wrote especially to Betty Smith about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and to Katherine Anne Porter about a book of her short stories. Or, maybe those were the only letters that the author located.
Many of the soldiers had not been readers before going to war but boredom drove them to it. And, in many cases, turned them into lifelong readers. And urged them to go to college on the GI Bill after the war.
This was okay. Fairly interesting at times. Tale of how Parisians coped with occupation. Mostly anecdotal. But how else would the tale of Parisians coThis was okay. Fairly interesting at times. Tale of how Parisians coped with occupation. Mostly anecdotal. But how else would the tale of Parisians coping with occupation be told? History is anecdotal. I once had a history professor who said stories we need stories to hang our hats on. We need the stories to add validity to the experience. They make the facts real. And Rosbottom acknowledges, as many don't today, that we have to look at the experience through the eyes of the '40s and not those of the 21st century.
I don't know what I thought happened in 1945 but I don't think it was this. It would be another 5 years before I was born.
Maybe I was being naive butI don't know what I thought happened in 1945 but I don't think it was this. It would be another 5 years before I was born.
Maybe I was being naive but I didn't think about this kind of vengeance going on. And especially as it was directed against women, not the actual combatants. I probably should have expected it but I had just never heard much about it.
The author's father had been in a work camp during the war. Not sure I understood the differentiation between work camps and concentration camps; although I definitely agree that it is not an experience that can just be forgotten as "well-meaning" people had suggested. As though they wanted to go on as though nothing had happened. He brings in his Dutch father, and his British mother, at various points as illustration.
Goes into the differences faced in rehabilitating both Germany and Japan.
This was a fairly interesting book and was very informative to me.
This was probably actually ★★★ 1\2. I did get it from the library twice, partly because I forgot to listen to it the first time. I had too many interesting books to listen to and didn't know how interested I would be in this one until I got into it. ...more
Also seemed to be the word used the most. It startled me when he said that the scenery at Bletchley Park was not a "beguiling landscape". BBeguiling.
Also seemed to be the word used the most. It startled me when he said that the scenery at Bletchley Park was not a "beguiling landscape". But then "beguiling" kept popping up again and again.
A book full of memories from the former inhabitants. An entire chapter devoted to the romances at BP. And strict obedience to the official secrets act.
Not very cooperative with the Americans when they went over. The Americans brought a purple machine but had difficulty getting like cooperation back. Actually all of the codebreakers got along. They all spoke the same language....more
For most of this book my rating was a or rating. But as I read the last couple of entries I just began to see so much more of her humor. Not sure thFor most of this book my rating was a ★★ or ★★★ rating. But as I read the last couple of entries I just began to see so much more of her humor. Not sure that I had realized that she had also done the illustrations. And I think it began to remind me more of the Lucia and Mapp stories that I had stumbled upon at the local public library, long before it was on PBS.
The biographical note at the conclusion advises that Dennys had put aside her artwork when she married a doctor (much like Henrietta) and became a mother. After they came back to England and difficulties with Germany had picked up she started writing and illustrating these little missives under the name of Henrietta Brown as letters to her childhood friend Robert covering 1939 through the end of 1941. And the thing is that it was done contemporaneously. Painting an interesting picture of a small community in Wartime Devonshire. ...more