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Without Warning: Ellen's Story, 1914-1918
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Without Warning: Ellen's Story, 1914-1918

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  63 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
After World War I calls her brother to the front lines, a young woman sets out to make a difference in this powerful historical novel.

"I don’t know much about wars except soldiers and sailors get killed and Jack might get killed with them. But grown-up people say . . . they’re a chance for young men to go off to foreign parts and be brave and come home heroes."

England, 191
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Candlewick Press (first published June 1st 2006)
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Mari Biella
“It’s dark now. The church clock has long struck midnight. Betty and Madge, twins and my younger sisters, went to sleep the moment I blew their candle out, but I can’t sleep and I’m wondering if I ever will again.”

Thus begins Ellen’s People, the first novel in Dennis Hamley’s Ellen Trilogy. Ellen Wilkins, a young woman living in rural England on the eve of World War I, has just witnessed a recruitment drive in her village. She has also witnessed some of the less attractive behaviour associated w
Chris Longmuir
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ellen’s People is a book with hidden depths. On the surface it is a simple story of one girl’s perception of the life of her family in wartime Britain.

It starts with a recruitment drive for young men to join the army in the early days of the First World War, when Ellen’s brother Jack joins the army. Through Ellen’s eyes we follow the jingoistic speeches which whip up enthusiasm for the war, and her fears for her brother. There is a sense of patriotism, a call to the colours, and war fever. But t
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? Yes. Since it is a wartime novel, it fit’s the story, and I like covers that give me a sense of what the story is about. The girl’s face isn’t too defined, and she isn’t starting right at me, so I’m okay with that as well.

Characters: Ellen doesn’t start out as a very memorable protagonist. She’s neither unlikable nor especially lovable; just average. The sort of person who you say, “Oh, yeah, I like her.” Someone who doesn’t leave an especially deep impression on you. But
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book told me about how a war can affect people in many ways- and from the eyes of Ellen, a girl who witnesses her side of the war. The thing that I liked from this book was that it described the way how people felt in a certain state realisticly and vividly. I personally like the character of Ellen's brother Jack, who apparently lost his leg in the army while attacking the germans. At first, he is devastated by himself being a burden to the family, and tries to commit suicide in a lake clos ...more
Sixteen-year-old Ellen Wilkins is a working class girl living in a small English village at the outbreak of World War I. Her brother enthusiastically enlists and the family must learn to cope without his wages. Ellen seeks employment from retired Col. Cripps, a former war hero. Her father resents the fact that she has to ask for a job from a "toff" but Ellen finds the Colonel kind and sympathetic. Though he is unable to offer her a job, their meeting changes Ellen's life forever. As the war drag ...more
May 27, 2008 rated it liked it
I felt more disappointed in this book than it maybe deserves, perhaps because the cover makes it sound as though much of the action takes place at the front when in fact most of the book deals with her growing up until she leaves, and then her time at the front is pretty skimpily-described. I also wanted her to grow into a little more self-awareness, such that her ongoing employment woes might cause her to reflect on her behavior rather than simply bemoaning things happening to her afterwards. D ...more
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
I felt that the book was a bit slow at the start, but I ended up really liking it. I haven't actually read that much about WWI, so that was interesting. I also liked the realistic portrayal of a young woman becoming a nurse and ending up near the front lines. There was some romance, but very little and I appreciated that. It was the natural flow of the story, and I also liked the ending a lot. Great book.
Oct 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Loved the way you could see Ellen mature with each of her experiences and her initial perspective on the war. It was wonderful to see a different view offered in a more accessible way for a younger audience encouraging them to question war instead of just separating it into the 'good guys' and the 'bad'. Although at times a little cliché, this was a great little book that was nice to stumble across.
Sarah Lanning
Nov 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Good but it missed out a lot of the best bits I know it fits the whole war into a little book about a girl but you don't go 'I'm going to london tomorrow' then 'London was great' but it was still a good wartime read :)
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good historical, youth fiction revolving around WWI in England and how it effects a little village and one family as they suffer when Ellen's brother comes back from the was with his leg amputated.
Shivani Avasthi
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved it , normally I don't read historical fiction but this book was great, encourags me to read more from this genere
Feb 06, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was a nice story, but long and slow going. If you have a lot of spare time, go ahead and read it. I didn't find anything spectacular about it, but it was tepidly 'nice'.
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Wow. Other than being rather depressing this was really good.
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Dennis Hamley was born in Kent in 1935 and lived in southern England throughout the war. After attending Cambridge University and completing a PHD at Leicester, Dennis went on to teach English and work in Education as a tutor and advisor.

He began writing in the 1970s and quickly showed his versatility. From the supernatural, to football to wartime novels, Dennis’s beautifully simple prose transpo
More about Dennis Hamley...

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