This book was real challenge. I had to force myself to pick it up and read it, often wishing I could throw it to one side and forget it.
The first parts, around 1/3 of the book, cover the childhood and pre-war years of the authors’ mother Anne, the “girl” in the story. Told through Anne’s diaries and with the addition of the authors’ descriptions, thoughts and explanations, it describes the life between both world wars of a rich girl in a large house with servants and nannies. A cast of characters are introduced each with various nicknames and titles, some only appearing briefly, and they confused the tale for me.
Anne is one of the most annoying people I have read about and, for me was without any redeeming features. I soon came to dislike her and did not care about her or any other person in the book.
As the Second World War begins, I wanted the story to improve. Despite joining the war effort as a WAAF and going on to work at Bletchley Park, Anne is still an unlikable character. For me this was highlighted by her taking over two months off sick, yet she still socialised, went shopping and partied during this time – and then complained at another girl being off ill! Anne falls in and out of love with various men and women, we learn a little of her work on wartime operations but nothing in the story grabbed me.
Post war, we learn about Anne’s life abroad and of the authors’ own childhood. But, regrettably, I had long since ceased to care.
The author tells us that she spent many years disliking her mother; I can understand a little as to why.
My Rating: 0.0* out of 5.0*
PUBLICATION DATE: March 2014 (anticipated)