I probably shouldn’t be posting while jet lagged (I flew back from Florida home to safe and healthy Canada yesterday), but I can’t resist a before and after book stack comparision:
(Ok, so I brought too many books with me to start with! Note to self: only one book per author. And I do try to restrain myself somewhat in bookstores and remember titles to go find at the library, so I guess I didn’t buy too too many, but all those books to carry home, most of them in one beautiful brand new Barnes & Noble book bag, that’s a sore shoulder lot of books!)
I started reading Henrietta’s War by Joyce Dennys on the plane after finding The Street of Crocodiles a bit too absurdist for such an early flight, and I’m so glad I bought it for the trip! The cozy British humour makes it the perfect plane read:
But the one who is really enjoying the meat rationing is Mrs Whinebite. Not that it actually makes any difference to her, for she and the unhappy Julius have been vegetarians of the most violent order for years, but it gives her a chance to show off in the way vegetarians are so fond of doing. She wanders about the countryside, singing folk-songs, with her hair coming down and her hands full of the most revolting fungi.
Henrietta’s War is a series of (sadly fictitious) letters written in WW2, with a hilarious cast of characters, most of them older women who are determined to do their bit to take Hitler down (with a blunderbuss if necessary), while worrying over what the ‘Bomb Snobs’ (those from London who’ve seen far worse than their little corner of Devon) will think of them. Take all the old ladies from Cranford, put them in WW2 and you get the idea. I had to hide my face in my book from giggling so often.
The next minute a little figure staggered out from behind some bushes. It was Mrs Simpkins, wearing corduroy trousers, which she had treasured for goodness knows how many months against such an emergency, over her nightgown.
‘It’s my bomb!’ cried Mrs Simpkins, like a lion defending its cubs.
‘We’ve come to put it out for you,’ said the lodger.
‘I don’t want you to put it out for me. I want to put it out for myself.’
‘The sand-bag is too heavy for you.’
‘It isn’t. It isn’t. I’ve been practising.’
‘Ours has got more sand in it.’
‘It’s my bomb!’
We glared at each other, our faces distorted with passion in the lurid light. Suddenly the bomb went out. It must have been burning for some time, and perhaps it wasn’t a very good one, anyway.
Thanks to all the bloggers who mentioned Henrietta’s War and The Bloomsbury Group already (thus prompting me to buy it), it’s so wonderful to find a forgotten treasure of a book.