Sunday 17 May 2020

Carrie’s War by Nina Bawden

This was actually written 1973, so in fact when the war was becoming history. It is a story about relationships, superstition and guilt as much as it is about the war. 

Nevertheless it gives us several useful insights about what it was like for children who were evacuated. 

Carrie and younger brother Nick are subjected to a harsh regime when they stay with Mr Evans and his younger sister whom they call Auntie Lou. It isn’t all harsh though; the children are well fed and Auntie Loo is kind to them. 

The children are taught in the village hall. A friend of theirs, Albert Sandwich is evacuated with Hepzibah, who may be a witch, and Mr Johnny the disabled relation of her employee, Mr Evans’ other sister Dilys. Albert misses the educational stimulus of having a large municipal library nearby.
It is awkward when Carrie’s mother comes to visit. They don’t know what to say to her. 

Auntie Lou elopes with an American soldier. There is an American presence on the edge of this story.
It is short book, with short chapters so easy for a young person to read. There are some complex issues in it so it will also be of interest to adults.        

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