Sunday, January 27, 2013

Review: Home Front Girl by Joan Wehlen Morrison

Wednesday, December 10, 1941

“Hitler speaks to Reichstag tomorrow. We just heard the first casualty lists over the radio. . . . Lots of boys from Michigan and Illinois. Oh my God! . . . Life goes on though. We read our books in the library and eat lunch, bridge, etc. Phy. Sci. and Calculus. Darn Descartes. Reading Walt Whitman now.”

This diary of a smart, astute, and funny teenager provides a fascinating record of what an everyday American girl felt and thought during the Depression and the lead-up to World War II. Young Chicagoan Joan Wehlen describes her daily life growing up in the city and ruminates about the impending war, daily headlines, and major touchstones of the era—FDR’s radio addresses, the Lindbergh kidnapping, Goodbye Mr. Chips and Citizen Kane, Churchill and Hitler, war work and Red Cross meetings. Included are Joan’s charming doodles of her latest dress or haircut reflective of the era. Home Front Girl is not only an entertaining and delightful read but an important primary source—a vivid account of a real American girl’s lived experiences.

Received for review.

I'm not a big fan of diary books.  I never did enjoy The Diary of Anne Frank.  So, I was a bit hesitant about this.  However, the book was an interesting and quite fast read.

The author's insights into the life and times she documented were intriguing but I didn't particularly like the author as person.  She just wasn't someone I would have wanted to be friends with.  She had a snotty, holier than thou attitude about her that annoyed me.  Perhaps that was just a reflection of members of her class during that time period, yet it was still irritating and distracted from the reading enjoyment.

If you're looking for a first hand account of the war from the perspective of a privileged American teenage girl of the time then this is for you.

★★☆☆ = Liked It


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