My Blog List

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review - Nella Last's War

I like this period of history because from the time I was little I heard my grandmother and my mother both talking about the difficulties of the time. How rice was in short supply, and how one year for Christmas my mother was given a tin of plum jam!

This book (recommended by Simon from Stuck in a book) did not disappoint. I love the
intimate diary feeling of someone actually talking to me after decades and speaking of both mundane as well as not so average matters. Nella Last's diary is awesome in its detail.

The story outlines Nella's life as a wife and a mother of two sons Cliff and Arthur and the average ups and downs of life just as the war ended and how difficult it seemed for the demobbed to get back into civilian life. The endless rationing which everyone thought would end, did not, the coupon system continued, the blackmarked thrived and the economy was in shreds. I am talking Britain here.

Nella Last thought herself and it is mentioned several times as an uneducated person, someone who was not exposed to much education as her father did not think it necessary for girls to be educated. She was sacrificing to the last - it was always her life's work to be there for the comfort and wellbeing of both her husband and children and the book is a testament to this. Covering every aspect of her life during and after the War it also covers topics ranging from food (very important part of the book) to marriage and relationships. I liked her way of seeing how the presence of Americans as well as POW's from Germany and Poland affected the life of the ordinary person in the street.

A lovely book which will appeal to most readers I think irrespective of whether they are interested in the War or not. It is a book on human nature, its resilience and courage in the face of adversity, it also reveals the strength of human beings to survive at all costs.


  1. I'm going to have to read this one. I have Nella Last's Peace, but I just couldn't get into it, probably because I hadn't read the first installment of her diaries. I like reading about ordinary people's experiences during the war.

    I hope it's okay to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

  2. Mystica:
    You are the winner of my fabric giveaway on please forward me your shipping information at and I will get your package out to you. Thanks!!

  3. Wonderful review. You did make me think that this could be a book for me

  4. This sounds just like my type of book! Thanks for the review.

  5. Sounds like a good read! Thanks for the great review!