Get yourself settled into a comfy armchair with a pot of tea and biscuits close to hand and read all about the marvellous tales of The Land Girls by Angela Huth. The story begins in 1941 England with three girls headed towards a Dorset farm to take the place of the male farm workers who have recently been conscripted into the war effort. The girls, Prue, Agatha and Stella are not by any means familiar with the demands of farm work but are all the same answering the call to save England’s farms. The three characters are so different from one another and their backgrounds are so far removed from muck and manure that you can’t help but admire them and enjoy their ‘adventures’ (though I suppose the real Land Girls of World War 2 would never have described their farm experiences as jolly adventures! Far from it!)
It’s great getting to know the girls, Prue’s a street savvy hair stylist, swotty Aggie’s just graduated from Cambridge and Stella is madly in love with a handsome soldier. Just as so many did, when the war turned the country on its head, these girls attempt to throw themselves into unfamiliar territory…and in a lot of case, the results are hilarious!
Living on a farm is generally without its comforts but despite this, they muck in and help each other through the difficulties. I have since read a number of factual books on how our ancestors coped with the war such as “Wartime” by Juliet Gardiner and “Wartime Women” by Dorothy Sheridan and have found the subject completely fascinating. What a great story!
I was particularly interested in the farmer’s initial reactions to the girls and the considerable doubt in their minds that these girls would be up to the job. Everyone just gets on with the job in the hand and makes the best of the situation. The results speak for themselves as the girls eventually succeed in their efforts and gain the respect of those around them.
This was an entertaining tale of friendship, duty and country living. Off course, as with all wartime stories, there’s plenty of romance too. The impact of the war forced people to live for the moment because there might not be a tomorrow and this was demonstrated in the within the storyline of the farmers’ son Joe and his relationships with the girls.
I love nostalgic storylines, especially ever since reading The Land Girls by Angela Huth, other wartime tales. How heroic everyone was and how genuinely selfless everybody seemed to be. Everyone just mucked in together all joined together as one against the might of Adolf Hitler et al. Now that the wartime survivors – our grannies and granddads of that time – are largely long gone, it is from books like these that the memories of the war live on. I think we could all learn a thing or two by reading books such as this.
If you love the author and fancy trying something else out, I can recommend “Easy Silence” about the trials and tribulations of marriage and violinists.