Monday, 29 April 2013

Review of Far From the East End by Iris Jones Simantel

This is the moving memoir of Iris born just prior to the start of world war II and her tale of growing up during the war years.  The tragedies and torment of being evacuated to Wales at the tender age of five and having to deal with being torn away from her parents.  Whilst reading this book and having Charlie whose almost five I just couldn't comprehend how I would be able to send him off on his own on a train to live with strangers and not see him for years.  Not see him grow up.

It's so difficult to fully comprehend the children of today to the children of yesteryear.  Iris talks about being kicked out into the street to play at 4 years old.  Picking over the bombsites and getting into all kinds of mischief.  I don't let Charlie or Faye for that matter out of my sight half the time.  They are certainly never kicked out to play and when they do go and play on the front I'm like a cat on hot bricks constantly checking their whereabouts.

This book had such vivid descriptions that it was so easy to put yourself in Iris's shoes and feel her heartbreak and share her laughter.  Growing up certainly wasn't easy for her and it's definitely left its scars. She's a little fighter and is full of spirit and certainly doesn't let things get her down. 

Meeting a GI and falling in love, Iris is married at the tender age of 16 Iris and once again torn apart from her family as she embarks on her new married life to America.  Embarking the troop ship for her long voyage I flicked the page only to scream out, "NOOOOOOO, " The book can' t possibly end there I need to know the happily ever after.

Phew I was relived to read that there is a follow up due for release shortly and mines on order.  This book certainly touched a nerve with me and I would recommend this to anyone.  I'm counting down the days until the sequel.

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