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War Crimes for the Home

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | War Crimes for the Home.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Liz Jensen(Author)

    Book details


'You know what they say about GIs and English girls' knickers,' ran the wartime joke, 'One Yank and they're off.' When Gloria met Ron, he was an American pilot who thought nothing of getting hit by shrapnel in the cockpit. She was working in a munitions factory in Bristol during the Blitz, but still found time to grab what she wanted. Ciggies. Sex. American soldiers. But war has an effect on people. Gloria did all sorts of things she wouldn't normally do - evil things, some of them - because she might be dead tomorrow. Or someone might. Now, fifty years on, it's payback time. In her old folks home, Gloria is forced to remember the real truth about her and Ron, and confront the secret at the heart of her dramatic home front story. In a gripping, vibrant evocation of wartime Britain, Liz Jensen explores the dark impulses of women whose war crimes are committed on the home front, in the name of sex, survival, greed, and love.

The author of Egg Dancing and Ark Baby has produced a highly original if dark novel about that twilight zone between lucidity and stroke-affected memory, observed disjointedly by the affected inmate of an old people's home. Out of her fuzz of fragments of memory, of jitterbugging and jokes and frantic sex in World War II, the old lady emerges slowly as a casualty of war - but on the home front. Disconcerting images of a baby and extraordinary recollections of a war-time romance with a GI Joe are muddled in with insinuations of a buried past, a son who wants the truth about who he is, and startling perspectives of what it is like to be young during the war against Hitler and old in a wheelchair. An uncomfortable but praiseworthy read. Liz Jensen is the acclaimed author of THE PAPER EATER, EGG DANCING and ARK BABY which was shortlisted for The Guardian Fiction Prize. She lives in London.

3.4 (13026)
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Book details

  • PDF | 240 pages
  • Liz Jensen(Author)
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (July 8, 2002)
  • English
  • 2
  • Literature & Fiction

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Review Text

  • By Mary Lins on April 12, 2005

    I "discovered" Liz Jensen with her recent novel, "The Ninth Life of Louis Drax", and have been devouring her earlier novels as fast as I can. I couldn't put down "War Crimes for the Home". It's laugh-out-loud funny, but also a compelling mystery, and a touching story of love and loss. I dare anyone to get to know protagonist, Gloria, without in turns loving her and wanting to strangle her.Jensen's wonderful satiric skill rivals Fay Weldon. Those Brits sure can twist in the irony knife, too. Brava!

  • By Helen Simpson on July 4, 2006

    Although I wanted to dislike Gloria for her courseness and low morals I couldn't. She was rather a sad character, yet at times made me laugh by her bluntness and the way she described others.Although I'm sure that this is not how the majority of girls behaved during the war, I'm equally sure that some did. It was a poignant and honest description of how people must have felt in times of war when you never knew if you'd see someone again whether it be your boyfriend/father/brother on a bombing mission or your neighbour in a bombing raid.Some of the descriptions reminded me of stories my parents and grandparents have spoken of; dying your legs with tea and trying to draw a straight seam up the back of your leg, food rationing, the Americans being 'over paid, over sexed and over here' and even the term "mind your own beeswax" rang a bell.I think Jenson managed really well to capture what it must be like to be old and living in a nursing home, feeling old one minute but still caught up in your memories that make you always remain young.

  • By Helen Simpson on August 31, 2006

    Although I wanted to dislike Gloria for her courseness and low morals I couldn't. She was rather a sad character, yet at times made me laugh by her bluntness and the way she described others.Although I'm sure that this is not how the majority of girls behaved during the war, I'm equally sure that some did. It was a poignant and honest description of how people must have felt in times of war when you never knew if you'd see someone again whether it be your boyfriend/father/brother on a bombing mission or your neighbour in a bombing raid.Some of the descriptions reminded me of stories my parents and grandparents have spoken of; dying your legs with tea and trying to draw a straight seam up the back of your leg, food rationing, the Americans being 'over paid, over sexed and over here' and even the term "mind your own beeswax" rang a bell.I think Jenson managed really well to capture what it must be like to be old and living in a nursing home, feeling old one minute but still caught up in your memories that make you always remain young.

  • By A customer on June 9, 2003

    This was a book I could just not put down. I initially thought I could `read' the plot but every page had a twist or turn. Jumping back and forward in time from the war years to the present day, the author was able to reproduce the atmosphere I both settings. I felt empathy with all characters at some stage, the humour and sensitivity in which the whole story was unfolded makes it a wonderful masterpiece. I could read this book time and again.


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