Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow

The blurb (from the author's website)



‘As I walk ever more falteringly through the hallways, echoes of my life –mundane and strange, joyful and dreadful – are like shadows, always there, following my footsteps.  Now that he is gone, I am determined to make a new start.  No more guilt and heart-searching.  No more ‘what-ifs’.  I need to 
make the most of the few more years that may be granted me.’
Sixty years ago, in the darkest days of the Second World War, Lily Verner made a terrible mistake that, she believed, led to tragic consequences. Now recently widowed, Lily decides to pack up the house she has lived in for 80 years. As she does so, long-buried memories start to emerge: of how she reluctantly became a silk weaver, of her passionate but forbidden affair with a Jewish refugee, of the woman who loved her, and how she found herself in charge of producing vital wartime supplies of parachute silk. Now in failing health, she is forced to confront the events that have haunted her all these years.

Did I like it ?
The story begins with Lily as an old woman attending the funeral of her husband. Once her family have left her alone we are taken back in time and told the story of a wartime love and the struggle and destruction of that time.
I have said before how much I enjoy books that are set during the war years and this has been no exception, I loved it. We are drawn into the lives of Lily, her parents and brother, her best friends and the workers at the silk factory as well as some Jewish refugees. Life was so unfair then and tragedy around every corner.
At the beginning of every chapter are some facts about silk production and the making of parachutes for war use. I found these little snippets so interesting, I never gave it a thought before what a complicated business making silk was.

Liz Trenow lived next door to her father's silk mill just as Lily in the book does which gives the story more authenticity. This is the author's first book and she has two more planned for next year,The Forgotten Seamstress and The Poppy Factory and I am so looking forward to reading them.

I cried buckets at the end of this book as we are returned to the present day and Lily finishes her story for her granddaughter. I have goose bumps just thinking of it again.
If you like stories set in that era and love a good cry then this is the book for you.
I give The Last Telegram *****
The Last Telegram for kindle on Amazon £3;99 

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