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Sunday, 21 April 2013

Jane Bailey - Tommy Glovers Sketch of Heaven

reviewed live on bookshow 11th April 2013 by Babs Simpson
in 1944, 9yr old Kitty Green is sent to live in the country with Joyce and Jack Shepherd.  Kitty is a naive cockney child who says whatever comes into her head, whilst the shepherds are cold and strict.
Kitty, although missing her mum who has gone to work in an ammunitions factory after being bombed out of her home, is resilient and gets on with the life she now finds herself living.  She makes friends with an older boy Tommy, who lives in the local orphanage, although her guardians are strongly disapproving of the friendship, but Kitty trusts and likes him and that's all that matters.
Life in the tiny Cotswold village carries on, the inhabitants cope with privations brought by war and Kitty joins in with everything, observing and listening whilst not always quite understanding what's going on or being said.
She is an enchanting child shockingly honest at times and only too liable to repeat words she hears but has no idea of their meaning.
As the story unfold, we discover the shocking event that has led to Joyce and Jacks apparent coldness towards Kitty and each other, we learn the secrets of life in such a sleepy backwater, the dreadful things that people do to each other and we share the glories of nature - the changing seasons and the sights and smells of the countryside.
This is a WONDERFUL book.  It is so convincingly written that I found it almost impossible to believe it's a novel and not the true story of Kitty Greens life.
I don't know anything about the author, Jane Bailey, except tat she's writhen a little masterpiece.  Great!

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