Synopses & Reviews
In September 1939, housewife and mother Nella Last began a diary whose entries, in their regularity, length and quality, have created a record of the Second World War which is powerful, fascinating and unique. When war broke out, Nella's younger son joined the army while the rest of the family tried to adapt to civilian life. Writing each day for the "Mass Observation" project, Nella, a middle-aged housewife from the bombed town of Barrow, shows what people really felt during this time. This was the period in which she turned 50, saw her children leave home, and reviewed her life and her marriage - which she eventually compares to slavery. Her growing confidence as a result of her war work makes this a moving (though often comic) testimony, which, covering sex, death and fear of invasion, provides a new, unglamorised, female perspective on the war years.'Next to being a mother, I'd have loved to write books.' Oct 8, 1939
"I adored [it]. An extraordinary glimpse into the heart of an 'ordinary' woman, Nella Last's day-to-day account of her war is spirited, poignant and utterly compelling."Lucy Moore
"A fantastic story
This is not the war of the newsreelsit's about tiny domestic difficulties, lumpy custard
"I relished it
her personality is so powerful
There are so many things to admire about her."Margaret ForsterSunday Times UK
"Anyone who has the least curiosity about what it was like to live through the Second World War should read this" -New Statesman
"The whole post-war women's movement anticipated and rehearsed by a solitary pioneer on the most unlikely of stages"Guardian UK
In 1939, housewife and mother Nella Last began a diary whose entries, in their regularity, length, and quality, have created a record of WWII. This is a moving testimony, that, covering sex, death, and fear of invasion, provides a new, unglamorized female perspective on the war years.
Writing each day for the Mass Observation project, Nella recorded people's true feelings during wartime.
About the Author
Nella Last kept a diary throughout WWII, under the auspices of the Mass Observation Archive. Her record of events offers a unique insight into one woman's war - on the Home Front. She died in 1968. Richard Broad is a filmmaker; he lives in Ireland. Suzie Fleming is a feminist writer and speaker; she lives in Cornwall.