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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Train to Nowhere One Woman's War, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator by Anita Leslie

According to the Introduction to this book, this story is one of 'dancing among the skulls'. We certainly don't know that we're alive compared with the brave women who volunteered for roles in the World Wars, such as Anita Leslie who worked as an ambulance driver in France.  She certainly had a tough time, for example, she found herself on 'a road strewn for half a mile with dead bodies and blown-up carts' when driving a wounded little girl to the hospital.  She watched soldiers die in a 'sea of red snow' and heard dreadful stories about German atrocities, such as thier shooting the inhabitants of every house that had hung our French flags when they retook Metz'.  Nothing could have prepared her for the horror of the concentration camps, however.

It is not all grim reading. Leslie manages to invariably keep her spirits up under the most trying circumstances, and she includes humorous anecdotes, including the story of Miranda who would escape from the camp for a night out by digging in the sand under the barbed wire fence in a silver evening dress. She also writes about visiting the great Winston Churchill, her cousin, who sent the French 'his love'.

Anita Leslie has a rather breathless, fast-paced style which is very engaging and suits the story.  She seems to have been extremely likeable as well as wonderfully courageous. She was awarded the Croix de Guerre by General de Gaulle.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.


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