May 28, 2018 - #allenandunwin

Letter from a reader…

I feel we’re very lucky that there are so many librarians and researchers who work hard to preserve and share our treasured histories at the many libraries, museums and galleries, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to write historical fiction if it wasn’t for them. Its also wonderful to have first hand accounts and that’s why I’m so grateful to Mollie for taking the time to write to me and share her experiences of the Second World War, which I’m sharing with you now:

Hello Caroline.

I’ve just read your book called Maggie’s Kitchen. My husband and I lived through this war (unfortunately) and I thought I would tell you one or two things about it. I was three years old when it began and thought it hadn’t affected me too much but when it was over, they started to use the sirens as fire warnings and the first time they tested them I was terrified. My husband was older and being a boy, far more interested in planes and collecting souvenirs. He said his mother conscientiously wrote down all the recipes which Freddie Grisewood read out and repeated again each time. After the war it was discovered that messages to the resistance were included in them. At that time we had no curriculum vitae, just references from people we knew or a previous employer. There were also no paint rollers at that time, just paint brushes. I was born in Bedford, north of London so we weren’t affected much by the bombing, just one that aimed for the railway line and missed and one that for some reason landed near the bottom of my grandfather’s garden but the town where my husband lived was surrounded by airfields. He also says you couldn’t get into a cinema because there were so many Italian prisoners of war.

I hope you find this of interest.



I love to hear from readers so if you want to get in touch then please email me at [email protected] – look forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes,



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