How I Long to Be With You

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)

£17.99

In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 978-1-909984-89-9

Categories: , ,

Bryony Hill grew up in a family where no one ever talked about the war, but when she read a treasured bundle of letters passed on by her mother, Bryony began to realise just how devastating the consequences had been. The correspondence was from her grandfather ‘Smithy’ Shaw, serving in the Royal Indian Army Service Corps, to her grandmother, Esme, living in New Zealand with their children.

Shortly afterwards, clearing out the loft of the family home, Bryony came across a battered suitcase full of letters from her father’s side of the family, sent between her father Trevor, who served in the Navy, and his brother and parents.

How I Long to be With You is a fascinating collection of letters, photographs and other memorabilia that document the realities of life during the Second World War. They vividly illustrate the pain and frustration of these enforced separations, but also display incredible humour and bravery; a poignant tribute to families living under extraordinary circumstances.

1 review for How I Long to Be With You

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Book Guild

    (From Amazon): ‘Books like this need to be published so the world does not forget’ says Dame Vera Lynn on the cover, and she’s right. Because war isn’t just fought abroad – painful battles are fought on the home front, too, and that’s what Bryony Hill has so cleverly captured in ‘How I Long to be With You’.
    This book is a collection of letters from both sides of her family, written between 1938 and 1945. There’s her maternal grandfather Smithy, fighting in India and writing passionately about his yearning for a reunion with his wife Esme in New Zealand. There’s Bryony’s dad, Trevor Jarvis, writing reassuringly from the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves to his father about going for long walks on the Sussex Downs and buying a little house to do up when the war is ended. There are those at home writing about how the mice have eaten the eiderdown, or how they’ve revived a pair of old gloves. And there’s a happy ending… after all the years of conflict and heartache, Trevor comes home, meets Esme’s daughter Bridget over the garden fence and marries her. Result: Bryony and her two brothers!
    It is all so real – yet the war was never talked about by this generation and it’s only in books like this that we find out what it was really like for those involved. It also emphasises the importance of letters – because of the impermanence of emails, we will never have records like these again.

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