Yvonne Child Of The Somme by Sara Rowell is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.
The reader becomes immersed into French life during the early part of the twentieth century. The author drops in on mother Marie’s life as a domestic servant in 1900 before following Yvonne’s life from 1901.
Life for women in France at the turn of the century was hard. We learn that a third of all births in Paris in 1900 was to single mothers and yet there was no pressure on the fathers to claim responsibility. Females were at the mercy of males. Domestic servants were at risk of abuse from other male servants or their masters.
The poor were seen as a problem for society that was ruled by the male elite. “The wealthy male elite… saw poor people not as individuals but as a … problem.” There was no poor relief and life was a lottery. Many women could not afford to keep their babies.
Child Of A Bygone Era by Peter Hunt is a fascinating account of the author’s early life.
Born in 1940, Peter Hunt spent his early years in Britain before moving to Hong Kong after the war and then returning to Britain for boarding school.
The reader is treated to glimpses of the author’s life in these very different environments. We hear how he travelled on the Queen Mary as well as freight ships – very different modes of transport.
What particularly caught my attention was the mention of a newsagent called Stan Hawkins who was a Poole Pirates supporter. I have watched the Pirates race when I was on holiday. As a speedway supporter for over forty years, Peter Hunt’s mention of speedway and what it is, was a real treat for me.
Fun & Responsible
The Fashion Fix by Lexi Rees and Eveyjoan is a YA girls interactive book showing how to be sustainable in our fashion choices.
The book is split into chapters looking at various topics including how much our clothes cost us and why cheap may be bad (sweatshops); the pros and cons of various materials; how to upcycle our clothes; how to accessorise and much more. The book is designed to make our young girls think about where our clothes come from and not to be wasteful in our choices. We all want to be responsible shoppers not exploiting either people or our planet.
Included in the book are activities that are not only fun but enable us to think about sustainability in fashion.
Slices Of Life
Coast Hospital by Bernard Wendelin is an entertaining book set in a hospital in Australia.
The reader is introduced to a variety of characters who work in the hospital and patients who are just passing through. There is an eclectic mix such as you would find in any workplace with one exception – Sister P who previously passed in the hospital but now wanders its’ corridors. She brings calm and healing.
The book is a highly entertaining read and rather humorous at times. It captures activities within a hospital as we see slices of lives.