Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Stranger in the House - Julie Summers

My husband is coming home after four years in a German prison; I lost my head two years ago and had a baby. I made up my mind that I would keep it whatever happened, but now I have read about the sufferings of prisoners, I feel I cannot face my husband and let him know I was disloyal. He may forgive me in time but how can I greet him, ill and crippled, with this child?

Published by: Pocket Books - Memoir
Year: 2009 - Hardback
Pages: 332
ISBN: 978-0-74329-552-9

Ok so now I am really on a roll with the books yet to be read on the bookshelf challenge.  I am now over halfway with Stranger in the house being number 8.  

Barbara Cartland 
Stranger in the house is the true accounts from wives and family members whose loved ones came back from the war, some of which had been prisoners of war and had been starved, beaten and tortured.   For some it would seem that they had never been away and fitted right back in with the family, but for many they returned a complete stranger to both their wives and their children. 

It was a fascinating book,  what I hadn't realised was how involved Barbara Cartland was as a Welfare Officer.  I only knew of Barbara Cartland as the romantic novelist who wore flamboyant coloured dresses and bright blue eye shadow.   She was instrumental in making sure that the men returning from the war could integrate back within their families. She was one of a few who supported the men and would discuss any topic including how to rekindle marital relations with a man you hadn't seen for five years.   I certainly was left with a very different view of this lady than the one I had had growing up. 

Nella Last with her youngest son
And of course after the tv drama Housewife 49, most of us are familiar with the diaries of Nella Last, who I believe continued to write about her experiences during and after the war right up until her death. 

For anyone with an interest in the war and how families coped with the return of their loved ones. Or if you have a family member who was that wife or mother this is a book they would definitely be able to relate too.   Julie Summers has also written a book entitled 'When the children came home' and Jambusters: The story of the Womens Institute in the second world war.   May be your patents were evacuated during the war I know my dad certainly was.

Happy reading one and all.


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