This is a thoughtful and inspiring book about a six-year old London Girl who is separated from her family as a wartime evacuee from the German air raids, returning to a lonely post war childhood. The lack of love and warmth in her life causes her to develop a remarkable determination and independence that is to dominate her attitudes and subsequent life. We follow the fortunes of Margaret, a six year old from East London, evacuated to North Wales. Her first billet is an experience of near - Dickensian horror, from which she transfers to one of contrasting luxury, and then to a house where she has companion of her own age. On returning to post war London, Margaret finds that her life is nothing like she had envisaged. But she sets her mind to work hard at her lessons and succeeds, finding friends where she can in order to replace the lack of love in her family. There is very little nostalgia for the dark days of Hilter's war, and some acute recall of a child's observations of the strange grown-up world she encounters as an evacuee, and later as a lonely little girl making her way in life.
Time and again we feel her deep sorrow at the war's destruction of the bond she should have with her mother. The 'evacuee Girl' will have a familiar echo for the older reader with memories of forties, and will have a fascination for their children, who will get a sharp insight into the effect of the Second World War on some of their parent's generation.
Jean Reddy was born in London in 1936, and lived through the blitz as a small child before being evacuated in 1942. her early life provides the background she vividly creates in this novel. This is her first novel, and begins to reflect her very controversial life, which continues in her following two books. She now lives happily in North Hampshire with her husband, Harry, and surrounded by her large family, who all live within a fifteen mile radius.