Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I’ve recently been reminded again of the expectations for me to write a book.  And once again, my first thoughts were that I had no topic on which to base an entire work.  My only idea is that maybe once my year is up I could somehow compile my blog and personal journal entries into something worth publishing.  My last read was the story of a young woman’s two years spent in the UAE, and I enjoyed her book very much.  My newest book is called “Sand in My Shoes” by Joan Rice.  It’s the wartime diaries of a young British girl who joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) after the outbreak of WWII.  Her writing style and the language used are a treat.  It isn’t a retelling of her diary, it gives names of many people without explanation of who they are, and words of reminder to herself – she never wrote it to be published of course, although she did long to be a writer.  It’s an excellent look into daily war life, “growing up amid the social whirl of service society”, and a young women’s dreams about life, travel, and adventure. I also love that it includes parts of her husband's diary, in conjunction with hers, to get another perspective on some of the same events.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from her diary:
“There is so much wrong with the world, so much in a nightmarish muddle.  Still there is this consolation: it’s a bad world but it’s not a dull one.  It’s got evil and stupidity and muddle but it’s also got excitement and adventure and variety.”
“Life is so untidy, fiction so much better behaved.”
Her comments on America finally joining the war: “I shall always in the future try to remember that though their cockiness and conceit does sometimes jar, at least they are unafraid to say ‘go to hell’ to those against us and they will never compromise or crawl in their dealings with their enemies.  We shall be one and in us lies the hope of the world.”
I guess I was most surprised by how normal she made it all sound – being in the middle of air raids and being evacuated at a moments notice.  Having never lived through an invasion, or war on home soil, I can’t truly imagine it.  I must admit her diary doesn't exactly help you imagine it either.  The closest I’ve come would be 9/11, but that was only one horrendous day.  Regardless, I would definitely recommend the book – enjoyable but not demanding.

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