Emmerich (born in 1934) describes her WW II experiences, filling out her memories with facts garnered from her large extended family and quotes from her father's letters from the front. Her grandfather, a communist, was repeatedly arrested but always returned to his vital job; her father died in Russia when treatment for his wounds was delayed; the rest of the family, forced by the bombing to leave their DÃœsseldorf home, moved several times, squeezing in with relatives; ""Mum,"" refusing to join the Party, lost a job; and after the war, they returned to DÃœsseldorf, where 93% of the houses had been destroyed. Frustratingly, there's no information here on Emmerich's later life. Her voice could be that of a British housewife--clear and intelligent, but somewhat naive. Meanwhile, many of the details--especially in her father's letters to a favorite sister--are revealing, and the author is often tellingly honest, e.g. about the terrible details of her father's death, but can also be reticent (the Gestapo ""took grandma, mum and two of her sisters to the prison and made them cry out for grandad to hear. That didn't work either""). Incredibly, the Jews are never mentioned. Still, an authentic firsthand depiction from a child's perspective. B&w photos; chronology of the war.