Book Review | Home Front Girl

Home Front GirlTitle: Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America

Author: Joan Wehlen Morrison

My Review: 

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone like Joan. As I was reading her journal entries, I had to keep reminding myself that she was just a teenager when she wrote them. At least, most of the time. She was very much the typical teenage girl when she’d talk about the boys she fancied and the dates she went on, but her attention to the world around her was quite extraordinary to me. Maybe it was just the difference in our generations, but I don’t feel like I paid as much attention to what was going on in the world as she did when I was fifteen. Then again, maybe it was just the fact that there was a war looming which caused her interest to be piqued.

I was a bit surprised by how ‘real’ Joan was. I don’t mean in how she talked, but more in the way she behaved. I’ve always pictured the 1930’s and 1940’s to be the ‘clean cut’ era, so I was surprised by how late she’d stay out and how she’s sit around drinking wine and smoking cigarettes while discussing books at the age of eighteen. I’m not upset by it, I just found it surprising and eye opening.

Her quirkiness and sense of humor were quite entertaining. There were only a handful of entries in the whole book that I felt myself skimming through and had to back track to make sure I read them thoroughly. I only wish that there had been more journal entries to choose from. I’m sad that it only goes through January of 1941 and then jumps to some notes from her school books in 1943. I would have enjoyed reading more about her take on the war while it was actually happening and not just the build up to it, but that’s really not a problem that can be rectified. It’s not like her daughter can go back in time and make sure she writes more in her journals. But it definitely drives home the desire to stay on top of my own journals, making sure I talk about what’s going on in the world around me and not just the constant messes that I have to clean up as a mother of young children. Now I’m off to write. We’ll see how long that lasts.

*I received a copy of this book to review but was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my own observations while reading this novel.*

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  1. Rose says

    It sounds like a good book. I love books that take place in older times. I think it helps us to understand our parents, or grandparents a little better.

  2. librarypat says

    I enjoy personal views of history while it is being made. It is one reason I like reading older fiction. The works that were contemporary pieces then give you a good view of attitudes, etc. prevalent at the time. Even our own journals would read differently if we went back and filled them in days, weeks, months, or years later. Time and perspective change things, plus the little details that can prove most interesting or valuable tend to get lost.

    Thanks for the review.

  3. Soozle says

    Sounds like an interesting read! I really enjoy reading novels that take place in the past – always interesting to try to relate to life back then!

    Thank you for your review!

  4. ANN*H says

    This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading. I like historical fiction books i like reading books from back in the older times. The fact that if we keep journals especially in times of war , they will be great to be able to read later on. Our real true feelings can be expressed in our journals.
    thanks for the review of the book

  5. Jan says

    I liked your statement regarding being ‘surprised by how ‘real’ Joan was’. When I heard stories from my mom as to what some got up to as youth I was completed surprised.

  6. L says

    Sounds like a very good read. Reminds me a little of a great-aunt of mine who was such a story teller. Also grew up in this era and was also very “real” as you say!

  7. Angelia says

    I laughed at your “How real” comment was, I grew up listening to stories of my great aunts and all the troubles they got into with boys. Sauciness goes down family lines too.

  8. cathy henatyszen says

    Sounds like a good book to read, it’s always nice to read about peoples experiences from the past… it makes you more grateful for how things are today I think

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