Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

On August 31, 1939, Anna Sands and her mother are spending a final day shopping for supplies and having a few treats before Anna is evacuated from London.  It is the eve of World War II and thousands of children and being separated from their families in an effort to keep them safe from the anticipated bombings. It is days later when Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's declaration of war.

For several years Anna lives at Ashton Park, a large manor house north of York.  There are over 80 children bordered there.  Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton opened their house to the children as they don't have any of their own.  Possibly they hoped to heal those wounds by having so many children living close at hand.  Over the four plus years that Anna lived at Ashton Park she formed a bond with Thomas and one of her teachers.  That bond stayed with her and overshadowed her activities for the rest of her life.

This story explored a page of history that I knew very little about. It was interesting to read how the Ashton's responded to the 'invasion' of their private home and how Anna adjusted to living away from her mother.  I would have liked to hear more about how the other children adapted.  I suspect that there were many who didn't do well and that there were others who thived in such a situation.

Most of the time while reading this book I thought it was pretty good.  As I got closer to the end the tears kept pouring down my cheeks.  I found it all very emotional.  That's me, I'll cry at almost anything. I don't think that neccessarily makes it a better book but it did make the ending memorable.

This final clip is the namesake song of the title.

Photo Credits:
Neville Chamberlain  -
Winston Churchill - ThinkQuest
Braithwaite Hall - National Trust
German bomber -
White handkerchief - Elegant Weddings Plus

Also reviewed by:

Petty Witter at Pen and Paper


Teddy Rose said...

This sounds like another book I would enjoy! It is part of WWII that I know very little about as well.

Annette Laing said...

Thanks for the clip of Al Bowlly--I love his singing, but had never seen him before. Did you know he was killed in an air raid?
BTW, since you enjoyed this book, may I suggest you take a look at my 2007 "Don't Know Where, Don't Know When"? I'm certainly going to check out The Very Thought of You, btw. :-)