Voices From The Past – The Woman by Elizabeth Uywin

Looking At The Stars

Voices From The Past – The Woman by Elizabeth Uywin is the final book in the Voices From The Past trilogy. It is another captivating read as we follow Mary Cole through the war years to 1947.

Having read all three books back-to-back, it has been a powerful journey with Mary Cole. I have been totally emotionally invested since the first page of book one.

In this final book, Mary Cole becomes a land girl. It was a hard life as she was billeted with a Norfolk farmer who had no time for Londoners. Once more, Mary’s sunny personality shines through as she rolls up her sleeves and does her bit for the war effort.

Throughout the trilogy we have seen Mary’s heart of compassion for others – whether it was her sister, those bombed out or a lady whose house flooded – Mary’s heart is huge.

War brought losses – and not always through bombs. There were personal tragedies that would last a lifetime. “I’ve just lost a child… I have to believe that someone somewhere is taking care of my boy. The thought of Jesus being with him helps me cope.” What a heart-breaking scene. We witness the importance of faith in a life. This ordinary life of faith contrasts with that of the parish priest who seems more interested in high teas and a tit for tat type of religion.

Family is important to some. It is emotional to read of a character not only pushed away in younger life but whom adults actually actively conspired against to prevent happiness. My heart just broke.

The final book included many photos of the characters. It was wonderful to put faces to names. I also enjoyed reading the synopsis as to what the characters did for the rest of their lives.

Voices From The Past has been a fabulous series. It is broadly a social commentary on the age with a soft focusing in on Mary Cole. As a historian the trilogy is absorbing and educating. As a reader it has been a fascinating and emotional journey through the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. I think anyone from the ages twelve to adult will enjoy this wonderful trilogy.

I received a free copy from the publishers Austin Macauley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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