My Gentle War is the story of a young girl and her family. Ripped away from the home she loved, from her friends, and familiar surroundings, she spends her formative years in the comparative safety of the Welsh Valleys. With the World at War, and her father sent to the battlefields of Europe, her war is fought holding back tears whilst waiting for news of her father, never knowing whether she will see him again. This is the story of a young girl learning to live a new life, holding her family together in unfamiliar surroundings, all the while dreaming of the father that was forced to leave her. My Gentle War is Joy’s story.
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!