The Girls They Left Behind


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Author: Hunter, Bernice Thurman

Edition: Illustrated

Format: Illustrated

Number Of Pages: 192

EAN: 9781550419276

Release Date: 07-03-2005

Languages: English

Item Condition: UsedGood

Binding: Paperback

Details: Product Description Like any teenager, Natalie wants to have fun. But it's 1944, and almost all the boys she knows have signed up and are being shipped overseas to fight the war in Europe. Too often she takes the trip to Union Station to wave goodbye to another friend, wondering if he'll ever come home again. And like her other girlfriends, Natalie is getting tired of waiting for the war to be over. There are still dances at the Armories to meet handsome boys in uniform, but is that all a girl can do for the war effort? Natalie has a plan. Her first move was to change her name from Beryl, which didn't sound sophisticated at all. Now she quits school and takes a job at a department store. Buying War Saving Stamps with her meager earnings is not enough for Natalie, however, and soon she finds work at De Havilland Aircraft, making bombers. But it is during this time, when she is taking the most pride in her war work, that Natalie and her family get the news they've been dreading: her cousin, a gunner in the Dambusters Squadron, is listed as missing, presumed dead. And as news of other boys reaches home - some of it good but so much of it bad - Natalie begins to wonder what kind of world will be there for them all when the war finally ends. At times funny and at other times deeply moving, Bernice Thurman Hunter's last novel is drawn from her own memories of being a teenager in Toronto during World War II. In Natalie, Hunter has created a spunky, outspoken and utterly charming character, which readers young and old will revel in. And in her unforgettable portrait of the home front, Hunter has brought to life the daily trials and tribulations of a generation of women who had to stand by while their men went to war. From School Library Journal Grade 7 Up–An unfinished manuscript completed by her daughter after the author's death, this historical novel is based on Hunter's memories of her teen years on the World War II Canadian homefront. Told partly in the form of entries from a diary kept by the main character, Natalie, and partly in first-person narrative, this is the story of young men going off to war, young women taking on war-related jobs at home, and everyone left behind worrying about whether their friends and loved ones will return to them. Natalie, who has dropped out of high school to take a job at an aircraft plant, is especially concerned about her favorite cousin, Carmen, who eventually goes missing in action. With its inclusion of brand names, wartime prices, and details about rationing and blackouts, this book will have particular appeal to nostalgic adults who have similar memories of daily life during World War II. This attention to the background detail is the book's strongest point; unfortunately, the characters lack depth and young readers will not find the plot compelling.– Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Gr. 7-10. Seventeen-year-old Beryl, living in Toronto, Canada, in 1943, is sick of being left behind, sad and lonely, while the boys go off to exciting adventures in wartime Europe. Her friends have lost boyfriends overseas--if not to the war, to English girls waiting for boys "like vultures." Then her favorite cousin goes missing during a bombing mission in Germany. Published posthumously, this novel by a prizewinning Canadian writer draws on personal memories, and the fast, plain, first-person narrative, irreverent and fiercely patriotic, romantic and anguished, evokes a strong sense of World War II on the home front. With the men away, the "girls" and "dolls" write to the soldiers, get factory jobs, escape to the movies, and proudly stick to rationing. It's such authentic daily detail and the realistic characters caught up in momentous events that make this historical fiction so compelling. Pair this with Harry Mazer's Heroes Don't Run, reviewed on p.1671. Hazel Roc

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