Last year I read Nella Last's War, a segment of housewife Nella Last's diaries through the years covering the Second World War. Nella wrote this diary for the Mass Observation project, a UK social research organisation, and her diaries spanned the years from 1939 to 1966. I enjoyed this first book so much that I put Nella Last's Peace on my Christmas list.
'Nella Last's War established a housewife and mother from Barrow-in-Furness as one of the most powerful and moving voices of the Second World War, and inspired the award-winning television drama Housewife, 49. In this next instalment of her unique diaries, Nella Last describes how ordinary people re-built their lives after the war was over.
While the Allies' victory was a cause for hope and celebration, much privation and anxiety remained. 'The only peace is that there are no active hostilities', Nella wrote, 'but the corrosion of the war years is eating deeper into civilisation.' In her sensitive and playful account of daily life in the austerity years, written like her war diaries for the Mass Observation project, Nella Last captures the thoughts and feelings of post-war Britain.'
I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first one. It's like a peek back in time observed through the eyes of an ordinary housewife around the same age as I am now and it's fascinating to compare what life was like then to how it is now.
There's a further book in the series, Nella Last in the 1950s, which I'm looking forward to reading too.