Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (1942)

'Her purpose always was to strike at authoritarian governments. In the genre of highly literate suspense she is considered unrivaled.' Assignment in Brittany is Helen MacInnes’ second book and was published early in World War II not long after the Battle of Dunkirk. It is set in Brittany and captures the bleak atmosphere that must … Continue reading Assignment in Brittany by Helen MacInnes (1942)

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

In the 2016 introduction to the thirtieth anniversary edition of An Artist of the Floating World, the author wrote: ‘This novel is set in Japan before and after the Second World War, but it was very much shaped by the Britain in which I was then living: the pressure on people in every walk of … Continue reading An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (1986)

The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

Twenty-three year old Sheila Matthews had been living with her Uncle Matthews in London after her parents died when she was very young. As this story begins, she is visiting the Aleksander family in Poland. Andrew Aleksander had met her when he had visited her Uncle in London and had gone home and talked about … Continue reading The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

A Prince and a Spy was published this year (2021) by Pegasus Books. It is set during World War II and the basis of the story is an actual historical event. In 1942, Prince George, Duke of Kent and Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, died when his military plane crashed in Scotland on its way to … Continue reading A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

A Woman in Berlin (1954)

A Woman in Berlin is a firsthand account of the Red Army’s entry into Berlin during the last days of World War II. The anonymous author was a thirty-four year old female journalist who was living in the city at the time. Berlin had been bombed extensively and ninety percent of its buildings were destroyed. There … Continue reading A Woman in Berlin (1954)

Towards an Australian Charlotte Mason Curriculum

      This is a page in progress with ideas for living books, related to Australia in some way, that we've used. I'll link to any reviews I've written and give a recommended age or an Ambleside Online year if you're looking for Australian substitutes.   Ambleside Online Year 11     Picture Books … Continue reading Towards an Australian Charlotte Mason Curriculum

Saplings by Noel Streatfeild (1945)

  Saplings is the story of the Wiltshire family: Alex and Lena and their four children, Laurel, Tony, Kim and Tuesday, who are by all accounts a successful middle class family, well off and happy. That is, until the war began.With the bombing of London imminent, the Wiltshire children were evacuated to the country to … Continue reading Saplings by Noel Streatfeild (1945)

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943 – 1948)

  Set in Japan on the eve of World War II, The Makioka Sisters has been described as the greatest Japanese novel of the twentieth century. Not having read many Japanese novels I’m not in a position to agree or disagree with that observation, but it is certainly a compelling and poignant picture of an … Continue reading The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (1943 – 1948)

Reading Europe: The Third Man by Grahame Greene (Vienna)

I didn't finish the only other book by Grahame Green I attempted to read. I think it was The Power & the Glory, but it was a while ago so I'm not certain. I just remember I didn't like it much at the time and didn't bother finishing it.When I saw an audiobook of The … Continue reading Reading Europe: The Third Man by Grahame Greene (Vienna)