At first, this book puzzled me. What did Winston Churchill's teenage daughter's diary have to do with the first months of WWII? Then l caught Erik Larson's rhythm and reason, and started really enjoying. Familiar ground shown in a different light.
Erik Larson's past books had me stoked to read The Splendid and the Vile. The rewards of this book lie in "data" collection; the size of appendices at the rear of the book confirms this. Having visited the Churchill Museum demonstrates so much more than this book can offer. There is much about Churchill that just wasn't captured for me but for those who like data, it can be found in this accounting of Churchill's early rule.
Definitive in it's war telling yet a novel that captures the human interactions of family and fellow politicians. The exposing of familial interludes during an intense period of bombing and rationing reveals a side of the war period that , for the most part, hasn't been brought into light. It promoted an interest in Churchill and Britain in the 1940's that I'd have otherwise passed on. Larson, once again, sure did his work.
This had a great narrative. Very enjoyable to read.
If anyone is sitting on a copy let me know, would love to read it while we wait for the library to reopen! Thanks!
I was so lucky to get this book just before the library closed. An absolutely wonderful and engrossing work on Churchill and his valiant efforts to see Britain through the first year of World War II. Nothing takes your mind off our current troubles better than reading about other people's woes! I rarely give a 5 star rating, but this book truly deserved it.
I generally like Erik Larson's books but I just couldn't seem to really get into this one. I'm not sure why.
This book reads like a novel, with suspense on almost every page. I rarely read history but the writing is so fluid I could not put it down (and that is saying a lot)! I read this in 2 days and look forward to reading more by this author.
Larson takes the reader through a more intimate saga of the Churchill family, covering the first year of his leadership of Britain - including the escape from Dunkirk and the long bombing campaign of the Battle of Britain, and the slow process of building a partnership with the isolationist United States. This is not a political or military history, but the kind of human drama that Larson does so well, tracing emotions and the swelling of both fear and confidence of the British people, from the high to the common - liberal quotations from actual diaries and eyewitness testimony season the complete narrative.
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