The mystery writer tells, explicitly, honestly, the "history of a delicate time" in her East-Anglian village, from 1938-1941, which- in her personal experiences and those of her village neighbors, represent the whole of England. It has a far bigger panorama than the Kennedy book; it is less personal- more ramifying in detail and in implication. Filled with the homely — anxieties of all, problems of adaptation, local incidents, it should be humanly appealing to all types. Thirty miles from London, absorbed in things as they are, August of 1938 brings the realization of the threat of war, and the village prides itself on its emergency preparations. Then the breather after Munich, and during this period the hardening of the spiritual and mental muscles as they prepare for war. War is declared, and the perpetual surprises, good and bad excitements, the unification of the village as the unexpected numbers, and kinds, of London evacuees arrive. Then the soldiers, the bombings, the defeats that toughened them up without the "lack of an anaesthetizing panoply of battle", Churchill and the finding of a new world, and new values, a pride of race and the beneficial results of anger among a people. Much that is sombre and gay, in a book which is engrossing and moving.
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