By Lynn Willoughby
Goodnight From London ~ Jennifer Robson
Historical fiction, my favourite, with a slightly different angle. Ruby Sutton is an American journalist who moves to England in 1940 to report on the war.
We see London, and especially the London blitz through Ruby’s eyes. Her articles range from a Christmas party at an orphange, to the complete destruction of St Bride’s church, which had been designed by Christopher Wren, to the fire in the hotel where she is living and her loss of every worldly possession.
Formost in her dispatches is the fortitude of the English people. There is no whining, no complaining, no discussion of the fear and despair people are feeling. They do not run nor be cowed into submission. They leave their underground bomb shelters at dawn, climb over mounds of rubble, skirt fires as they walk to work because public transit is not running. In the continuous blitz for 57 consecutive nights, it is the lack of sleep that people talk about, but their will and courage never flag, and this is one of Hitler’s most strategic blunders.
Because Ruby is a woman in a man’s profession she cannot go to France to report on the liberation. But it is the strong female characters that are the backbone of this book. We see how people don’t have to be on the battlefield to be brave and tenacious. Those waiting at home, in blackout darkness amid dropping bombs endured with grace.
This novel, inspired by the experiences of the author’s grandmother, is a wonderful read. The depth of research and the excellent prose make it a good read from a woman;s perspective, and much of it is true.
- Somewhere in France
- After the War is Over
The Blitz – Nazi Germany’s sustained aerial bombing campaign against Britain, killed 43,000 civilians, and lasted for 8 months.