My Gentle War

My Gentle War: Diary of an Essex Girl
My Gentle War‘ is the story of a young girl and her family. Reluctantly leaving her comfortable home in Essex and saying goodbye to her friends and family, by the actions of an unhinged little man with a moustache, she travels to Wales with her two brothers. Her mother is half-Welsh and her cousin, ‘Aunt Sal’ invites the children to stay in the relative safety of the Valleys until the war is over. Joy misses her parents – her mother works in munitions while her father has joined The Royal Air Force and is ‘somewhere’ in France, but grows to love Wales, the people and nature around her and discovers the joy of dancing and those magical tomes called books.

Book signing for My Gentle War
Photograph of Joy, taken on the happy book-signing day at BookWorld in ‘The Habaneras’ Mall in Torrevieja, Spain.

As Joy said: Writing ‘My Gentle War’ was a nostalgic journey down ‘memory lane’. I again saw: Mum making almond tart while gyrating her hips to Edmundo Ross’s rumba on the wireless; Dad dead-heading his roses before ‘Going away to war to fight Hitler!’; my brothers flicking their cigarette cards down the hallway…Experienced the freedom found living on a mountain in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales; felt that affinity with my Welsh relatives…Felt elation at dancing on the stage; and great sadness when dear cousin Islwyn was killed in a mine coal-fall, and later, brave airman, Uncle Bernard, was killed when his plane was shot down. Fortunately, wars end, and when World War II did, we were all reunited, happy and stirred but not broken!



10 thoughts on “My Gentle War

  1. Georgia Varjas 03/08/2013 / 4:37 pm

    What a wonderful slice of history. Such an enjoyable read, informative and funny.

  2. Jan 04/07/2014 / 3:42 pm

    Wonderful author. Fantastic book, a real page turner, made me laugh and cry in equal measures.

  3. Rohini 08/09/2014 / 8:14 pm

    Hello Joy,
    I’m so glad I was able to visit here. Interesting, we both had fathers who were in WWII, I guess a lot of folk of a certain age had dads/mothers who were part of it on one side or the other. India (my birth country) was still under the British at the time and my father was part of the then Royal Indian Airforce. He flew against the Japanese on the Burma Front. I also had uncles at various theatres in the army from Africa to Burma (Army) and one in the Navy. When will your book be available for purchase?

  4. kathyrollinson 10/09/2014 / 11:36 am

    I enjoyed your book very much. As you know I have put a review on Amazon. I would like to reblog this but you don’t have a reblog button.

  5. joylennick 23/05/2016 / 12:37 pm

    Thank you Jan, Rohini and Kathy for your kind words.

    Best wishes

  6. D. Wallace Peach 22/09/2017 / 9:27 pm

    This sounds so touching and filled with the little details that bring the memories to life. Congrats on the beautiful book, Joy.

  7. joylennick 22/09/2017 / 10:13 pm

    Thank you so much Diana, Although it didn’t have huge sales, it went to No, 1 on Kindle for a while in the memoir/social history category. I loved writing it as there were so many special memories. x

  8. joylennick 08/02/2019 / 11:03 pm

    Thank you kindly Bette. So many bitter-sweet memories. x

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