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letsread2SC
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8) : Setting the Scene.

Choisya,

 

   Thanks so much for taking the time to expand our view of the settings and background for The Postmistress. It was helpful to "travel" to the sites and interesting to read of your background as we share the insightful fiction account.

Sharon

Books are a friend which never imposes, but is always with you only slightly less intimately than God. ~ Brockeim

Sharon

He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. ~ Barrow ~
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aprilh
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)


Rachel-K wrote:

Please feel free to use any or all of these questions as a jumping off point for discussion--and please feel free to post your own! Especially for the "Chapter" threads, please be conscious of spoilers!

 

The book's epigraph states that "War happens to people one by one." When does the impact of the war begin to feel real to us as readers? Are we listening to Frankie's broadcasts along with Emma and Will? Did one war story from these early chapters move you more than the others?

 

For me, the war felt real when I read about Frankie walking home and having the bombs drop from overhead, flattening her to the ground. When she ended up at the bomb shelter and found her seven-year-old neighbor, Billy, there looking for his mother, my heart broke. I had a feeling something awful had happened. When Frankie takes Billy home and the houses there are torn apart, my heart broke for Billy, for losing his mother and for Frankie, for losing Harriet. "Listening" to Frankie tell this story over the radio, gave me goose bumps.

 

When does the war feel "real" to each of the characters?

 

I think for Frankie since she was in the middle of where the bombings were taking place, the war always felt real to her. But for Emma, I don't think the war hit home until she heard Frankie's story of Billy losing his mother. It seemed she forgot about it though, and went on living her life as usual, until Will announced he was leaving for London to help out at the hospital.

 

How does the experience of listening to the news via radio in the 40s differ from our experience of getting news from the television and internet? Frankie thinks often of the path her voice travels and believes that the sound of war and a person's voice carries the events straight into American living rooms. Do you agree?

 

Getting news from TV. and the internet today is almost instantaneous. If we need information, we just need to type in a few words and instantly we're connected to what we need to know. In the 40's, the only source of information came from the radio , paper or from writing letters. Getting information would have been much slower and it must have been so hard to wait to hear word that people you knew were safe.

I think Frankie is right that a person's voice could bring the events of the war into people's living rooms. This was one of the only ways people had of knowing what was going on during this time. It seemed people hung on the radio announcer's word trying to memorize every detail shared with them, so they could get a good grasp of what was going on in the world.

 

What is Frankie's attitude about reporting the news? How does she see her role? How did Harriet see her role as a reporter? Did the two women have different attitudes toward what they were doing there?

 

It seemed Frankie was more reporting about the what was happening in London and Harriet wanted to report on what was really happening to the Jewish community. Harriet was discouraged that the news of what was happening the Jewish community was being buried in the papers instead of being front page news. After Harriet died, Frankie seemed to make it her mission to continue on with Harriet's work.

 

What is the town of Franklin like? How does the town seem to be preparing or not preparing for war?

 

Franklin is a small town, where everyone knows all the people living  there. Right now, it doesn't seem to me that the town is preparing much for war. Some of the boys from the town have been drafted to the war, but that's about it. The only person who seems truly worried that the war might hit them at home is Harry. He's concerned the height of the flag pole will gain the attention of the Germans, possibly making the town of Franklin a target.


 

April
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Sunltcloud
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

 

I try to understand that "we want to protect ourselves from the pain and torture of knowing that war is going on around us" but cannot ever accept the fact that anybody would "take pleasure in knowing the wars are far away from us."
I take pleasure in sipping French roast at my local Barnes and Noble Coffee Shop. I take pleasure in plucking homegrown tomatoes from the vine. I take pleasure in listening to a local marimba group play music from Zimbabwe. Pleasure implies a state of gratification and gratification involves satisfaction. Of course I would be relieved that my loved ones escaped the impact of war, but how could I be gratified by the notion that the effects of war landed far away from me? Somebody else's family lives far away from me.
Immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Haiti, have families in those countries. One of my German mother's friends was married to a man from England. A part of my family has French roots. During my travels I have made connections with people in China and Morocco. My daughter has spent months in Vietnam. My number one hero lives in South Africa. Libya, Pakistan, India, Cuba...... I can't think of a single place enduring war, without being reminded that a mother is rocking her frightened baby to sleep while sirens wail or bombs fall or shock and awe light up the night. Not a single place where life is less valuable or death more acceptable than right here where I stand.

lindareadsLH wrote in part:

I enjoy stories of the World Wars because I am mature enought to want to know the kind of despair so many people lived in through these ordeals.  But is it real to us hearing about it over the news, then the radio and the newspaper?. I do not think it would have  seemed as real as it was to the ones that was in it of course. Being human, we want to protect ourselves from the pain and torture of knowing that war is going on around us and we take pleasure in knowing  the wars are far away from us.  That is, unless we have personally something invested in war zones such as people we love, our sons and so forth.

 


 

 

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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

 


Choisya wrote:
Listening to the radio then was a much more intimate experience.  Radios were mostly small, fixed items, always in the room most lived in, often near to a fire or cooking range. When the radio was on children were expected to be silent - for the news, for the parent's favourite programmes.  Reception was not always good so you had to concentrate.  I think it differed because of these things and because people did not have so many other audio-visual items in their homes. Gramophones were not as common and only fairly wealthy people had a TV.  The only other common audio-visual experience was to be had at the cinema where people saw not only A and B feature films but the wonderful Pathe News films (on the Pathe website here you can see many film clips from the wartime period. Just key in what you wish to view and something is likely to turn up!).
_________________________________
That is an excelent point, Choisya!  It was an intimate experience and the family respected the time around the radio.  I also like your point about having to concentrate on the program. 

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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Choisya
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8) : Setting the Scene.

 

I am glad you found the background useful Letsread. I always find background material useful myself when reading but I know some people like to entirely rely on the book, in which case it is best not to read my posts I guess:smileyhappy:.  The fiction account here is very 'insightful', as you say, and Sarah Blake has obviously done a lot of research. 

letsread2SC wrote:

Choisya,

 

   Thanks so much for taking the time to expand our view of the settings and background for The Postmistress. It was helpful to "travel" to the sites and interesting to read of your background as we share the insightful fiction account.

Sharon

Books are a friend which never imposes, but is always with you only slightly less intimately than God. ~ Brockeim


 

 

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Choisya
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

 

Some of the boys from the town have been drafted to the war
I am not sure, but I don't think any Americans have been drafted at this stage?  That happened after Pearl Harbour.  Perhaps someone could give us the date?
The argument between Harry and Iris about the flagpole, with the authorities being slow to reply to her letter about lowering it, is perhaps a metaphor for American attitudes towards the war at this stage. 

aprilh wrote:

Rachel-K wrote:

Please feel free to use any or all of these questions as a jumping off point for discussion--and please feel free to post your own! Especially for the "Chapter" threads, please be conscious of spoilers!

 

The book's epigraph states that "War happens to people one by one." When does the impact of the war begin to feel real to us as readers? Are we listening to Frankie's broadcasts along with Emma and Will? Did one war story from these early chapters move you more than the others?

 

For me, the war felt real when I read about Frankie walking home and having the bombs drop from overhead, flattening her to the ground. When she ended up at the bomb shelter and found her seven-year-old neighbor, Billy, there looking for his mother, my heart broke. I had a feeling something awful had happened. When Frankie takes Billy home and the houses there are torn apart, my heart broke for Billy, for losing his mother and for Frankie, for losing Harriet. "Listening" to Frankie tell this story over the radio, gave me goose bumps.

 

When does the war feel "real" to each of the characters?

 

I think for Frankie since she was in the middle of where the bombings were taking place, the war always felt real to her. But for Emma, I don't think the war hit home until she heard Frankie's story of Billy losing his mother. It seemed she forgot about it though, and went on living her life as usual, until Will announced he was leaving for London to help out at the hospital.

 

How does the experience of listening to the news via radio in the 40s differ from our experience of getting news from the television and internet? Frankie thinks often of the path her voice travels and believes that the sound of war and a person's voice carries the events straight into American living rooms. Do you agree?

 

Getting news from TV. and the internet today is almost instantaneous. If we need information, we just need to type in a few words and instantly we're connected to what we need to know. In the 40's, the only source of information came from the radio , paper or from writing letters. Getting information would have been much slower and it must have been so hard to wait to hear word that people you knew were safe.

I think Frankie is right that a person's voice could bring the events of the war into people's living rooms. This was one of the only ways people had of knowing what was going on during this time. It seemed people hung on the radio announcer's word trying to memorize every detail shared with them, so they could get a good grasp of what was going on in the world.

 

What is Frankie's attitude about reporting the news? How does she see her role? How did Harriet see her role as a reporter? Did the two women have different attitudes toward what they were doing there?

 

It seemed Frankie was more reporting about the what was happening in London and Harriet wanted to report on what was really happening to the Jewish community. Harriet was discouraged that the news of what was happening the Jewish community was being buried in the papers instead of being front page news. After Harriet died, Frankie seemed to make it her mission to continue on with Harriet's work.

 

What is the town of Franklin like? How does the town seem to be preparing or not preparing for war?

 

Franklin is a small town, where everyone knows all the people living  there. Right now, it doesn't seem to me that the town is preparing much for war. Some of the boys from the town have been drafted to the war, but that's about it. The only person who seems truly worried that the war might hit them at home is Harry. He's concerned the height of the flag pole will gain the attention of the Germans, possibly making the town of Franklin a target.


 


 

 

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lmpmn
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

[ Edited ]

Thank you, nicole21WA for the link!  I looked at the first page of the link and it talked about the female reporters that were a part of the radio media as well.  Very informative!

 

 


nicole21WA wrote:

lmpmn wrote:

Before I make any comments, which I'll do in a different post, I'd like to ask some questions.  I know we have some people who live in England and would know more about certain things, and we also have some people who have read extensively about this war.

 

3.  There are certain times during the book when we're learning about Frankie's world when she talks about slipping things by the censors.  One example is at the bottom of pg. 57.  I'm assuming there were certain things they were not allowed to talk about over the radio during wartime.  I was hoping someone could talk about that in depth because I find it very interesting that they would try to "slip" things by and how they would do that.  I mean they're on air live right?  They can't go back and edit the show.  Once it's said--it's out there.  Also who are the censors?  Who do they work for--the government or the radio company?

 


I think this link provides some information regarding this question.  It appears that while they were broadcasting live, the scripts had to have prior approval and someone was ready to cut them off if they went off script.  Even today live broadcasts are frequently not directly live.  The TV station I currently work for runs on a delay whenever we have a viewer call-in show.  The last station I worked for always ran a delay.  People at home don't know that what they see/hear actually happened 7-10 seconds ago, but it provides us with just enough time to dump inappropriate content.  In case something that would get us in trouble with the FCC happens, we have a button to push that will cover the incident with color bars and tone.


 

 

Happiness is a warm blanket!
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lmpmn
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

What a great excerpt from the book!  It gave me chills.

 

I've never experienced war firsthand, but it seems like talking, reading, learning, etc. about war from history--or even during the present time from the media--can make our view of a war distorted.  It's like we mostly see the actual humans involved in the war as a collective: us versus them; the right side versus the wrong side; evil versus good; winners and losers; refugees being refused refuge (Jews in this book's case).  It's so easy to isolate yourself from the humanity and individuality of the people involved.

 

Like the part you pointed out, "there are people in need."  Each person out of the millions has an individual story, specific needs, loss of a loved one or ones, etc.  It's so hard to comprehend this huge number of people that has been affected so totally.

 

I don't know if I've explained my thought very well.  :smileyhappy:  I don't want to sound like I agree with the "complacency" on the part of the Americans to get involved.  I can just see where the isolationist feelings come in (I've read a couple of posts where people have used the word isolationist).

 

 


brainlair wrote:

Just finished reading NIght by Elie Wiesel for a school project and we are focusing on Indifference, Faith, and Night.  While reading the Postmistress, when Will decides to go to the war, I had a new understanding of the word: indifference. 

 

"When we know there are people in need, right now, in the same breath as what we are breathing, we cannot look away...That is humanity...human beings do not look away."(104)

 

That's also when I felt the war was "real".  I can't wait to share this.


 

 

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Choisya
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Re: Music during the War

By far the most popular singing artist in England during the war was Vera Lynn, with songs like White Cliffs of Dover, which was topping the American charts when Roosevelt declared war. Other favourites were We'll Meet Again,  I'll be Seeing You, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Sqare and You'd be So Nice to Come Home To.  I think they were all written by Americans and they were also recorded by Bing Crosby, Glenn Miller and others but Vera Lynn was the British 'Forces' Sweetheart' and she again topped our charts in September at the age of 92!.  My father was a great fan of Vera Lynn and as I was playing the piano quite well by the age of 8 (thanks to my mother's insistence on practising!) he often asked me to play these songs instead of the classical music I was supposed to be playing. I still have my teacher's note on my practice book saying '[Choisya] has been playing dance music again!'  You can listen to excerpts of Vera Lynn favourites here - they are the ones which Frankie would be hearing.

 

You may also be able to listen to this BBC Radio 4 broadcast charting the history of the White Cliffs of Dover and the contribution it and other American songs made to the war effort.  It would have been nice, I think, if Sarah had mentioned some of the popular wartime songs in The Postmistress as they were a very important aid to morale.

 

 

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Choisya
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

I think the so-called American 'complacency' is understandable given their geographical position in the world, so very far away from the action. World affairs were not so 'global' then, even after WWI.  It is perhaps akin to the 'complacency' we have when we watch TV pictures of famine in Africa, starving children etc.  Comparatively few of us feel moved enough to make a donation and even fewer volunteer to help in those poverty stricken countries.  Non interventionism had a long history in the US - it went back as far as the founding fathers, so the attitudes expressed in The Postmistress were not new.   One of the unfortunate consequences was the tendency of Europeans to think of Americans as cowards because of their original refusal to enter both WWI and WWII. I sometimes wonder if this is why so many American war films are so gung-ho and put extreme emphasis on American bravery at the expense of other nationals.  Fortunately that impression of cowardice has long since gone and modern America policy has been said to be too interventionist.  

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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

I just finished the book yesterday.  One of the themes that begins in the early chapters and is carried along is that of communication.  The aniticipation that went along with looking in the mail box every day.  The simple ritual of writing a letter and addressing the envelope.  The agonizing wait for letters to sail across the atlantic.  I've found the discussion of the differences between today and the 1940's very interesting.  The immediacy of Frankie's radio broadcasts in contrast to the written letters that Iris was charged is similar in a contemporary sense. 

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Choisya
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Re: Music during the War (2)

[ Edited ]

As you can imagine, my old lady's memory is being triggered by all this talk of wartime.  I can't remember a thing about yesterday but my long term memory is kicking in daily!  Listening to these particular memories made me cry:-

 

Another musical memory is the four note theme of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony,which became known as a morse code signal for V = Victory,  The BBC opened each of its News broadcasts with this theme.  At 8 years old I couldn't play it on the piano but by jove! by the end of the war I could play a piano transcription of the First Movement (badly)!! 

 

BBC music programmes were everywhere during WWII - factories played 'Music While you Work', the radio played Housewives' Choice daily, which featured requests for loved ones in the armed forces. Bands played music in the parks every Sunday and American soldiers soon taught us how to jitterbug:smileyhappy:.   The broadcasts were picked up on short wave radios all over Europe, even though it was illegal to listen to them in German occupied countries. A lot of the music played was American - American Big Band Music, which I adored!  I suspect that the American musical contribution to the war effort was just as great as the military  one:smileyhappy:.  

 

What memories of wartime music do older Americans here have?   And Sunltcloud - what was being played in Germany?

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Shapatm
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

The book's epigraph states that "War happens to people one by one." When does the impact of the war begin to feel real to us as readers? Are we listening to Frankie's broadcasts along with Emma and Will? Did one war story from these early chapters move you more than the others?

 

The war starts feeling real when we spend time with Frankie in London as she's covering the anti-plane guns at night.  It completely ripped my heart out when Frankie when back home the morning after the last air raid we see with Billy.  Harriett's stories and scraps of information about what is happening to the Jews send my stomach into free fall because we know know that was only the beginning of their story during WW 2.

 

When does the war feel "real" to each of the characters?

 

I think the war is very real to Frankie in London but only starts to become real to Emma and Will at the end of Chapter 8. Emma wants to do something to help 'the boy' but quickly forgets about him as she's caught up in her day to day life.  She doesn't even remember him when Will starts talking about going over to London as a doctor.   I'm sure it is real to the mothers of the boys in Franklin who have unlucky draft numbers but I'm not really sure if the rest of the town has any idea of what is coming their way. 

 

How does the experience of listening to the news via radio in the 40s differ from our experience of getting news from the television and internet? Frankie thinks often of the path her voice travels and believes that the sound of war and a person's voice carries the events straight into American living rooms. Do you agree?

 

The radio seems to be a much more personal way of receiving information.  It's not copy on a digital page or even print in the news paper.  It feels more like a conversation between the reporter an listener.  There also seems to be more honest and need to report exactly what is happening through the radio that there is on TV today.  Today is feels like there is a specific slant on the news and its not just being reported for the news worthy factor.  I know that did happen with radio but it just seems less obvious.

 

What is Frankie's attitude about reporting the news? How does she see her role? How did Harriet see her role as a reporter? Did the two women have different attitudes toward what they were doing there?

 

Frankie's attitude toward the news seems to be observe as much as you can and report it all back to the public.  She's the reporter and not the interpreter.  Harriet takes more of an interest in how what is going on affects the people involved in the story.  Frankie and Harriet have different ways of reporting the news but the have the same goal - to get the story out.  I think that Harriet's stories had the potential to have a greater impact on her audience.

 

What is the town of Franklin like? How does the town seem to be preparing or not preparing for war?

 

Most of Franklin seems to be ignoring the fact that there could be a war coming.  Its easier not to think about what it would involve.  Harry seems to be thinking about it a little with his concern for the height of the flag pole on the post office but it seems like such a silly thing.  The gossips in town certainly aren't thinking about it any more than hoping their family isn't touched too much .  It really is frustrating.

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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

Choisya, I have to add to the thanks you're getting here on the board on your personal knowledge of this time. I was first educated by you to the fact of all the children being sent to the "country" in an earlier first look but I don't remember if it was The Sister or The House at Riverton that this was also discussed, ah getting older does make me forget things.

Thanks again for your insight and your personal take on this.

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BambooMom
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

I think the war becomes real to each of the characters at different times, just like any other major world event. Many of the characters are not ready for the war to become real; some (like Frankie) are pushing for it to become real, but then it finds her when she least expects it (with finding the little boy, and realizing her roommate is dead). Others, like Emma, don't want it to immediately affect them, although they are sympathetic when the topic arises.

 

In terms of blackout curtains, my grandparents had some made during the war. They were put away, but quickly brought out again in the '60's when they were alerted that a serial killer (and their garbage man), Charlie Starkweather, was on the loose in their town. My grandfather stopped at school to pick up my mom and her sisters, while my grandmother hung and closed up the curtains. (It was thought that Starkweather had murdered at least one couple from his route when he noticed they were home.) They stayed locked up in their house until Starkweather was caught.

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

From what I could find online during my brief lunch break, the draft was reinstated in Sept of 1940.

 


Choisya wrote:

 

Some of the boys from the town have been drafted to the war
I am not sure, but I don't think any Americans have been drafted at this stage?  That happened after Pearl Harbour.  Perhaps someone could give us the date?
The argument between Harry and Iris about the flagpole, with the authorities being slow to reply to her letter about lowering it, is perhaps a metaphor for American attitudes towards the war at this stage. 

 

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laurajzzz
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

The impact of the war begins to feel real to me as a reader when Frankie is on her way back to her flat after her encounter with the man from the bar.  A bomb falls so close to her that all she can do is lay there on the ground listening  to the sirens and people crying out.   She gets up and makes her way to her flat,  she doesn't get there and ends up underground for the first time since she's been in London.    

I think that the war feels real to Frankie when the next day she and Billy go to their homes and find that the bomb has hit it,  Harriet and Billy's mom are dead.    I don't think that the war feels real to Emma until Will decides to go off to London and leave her alone again.    Iris seems to be more detached from it personally as we don't if she has anyone that will be affected by it but as part of her duties as postmaster - she puts up the map so that people can realize where the war is happening.

 

 

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mv5ocean
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)


 

The book's epigraph states that "War happens to people one by one." When does the impact of the war begin to feel real to us as readers? Are we listening to Frankie's broadcasts along with Emma and Will? Did one war story from these early chapters move you more than the others?

Although I felt the war was real long before, it became VERY real when Will didn't want to hear the remainder of the broadcast yet he couldn't turn it off either. I remember on 9/11 there were things you didn't want to hear yet couldn't help but feel the need to hear. 

 

When does the war feel "real" to each of the characters?

Will-after Maggie's death.

Emma-after listening to the story of the young boy.

Frankie-when she actually went underground (although she was aware of it before)

Iris-from the beginning.

 

How does the experience of listening to the news via radio in the 40s differ from our experience of getting news from the television and internet? Frankie thinks often of the path her voice travels and believes that the sound of war and a person's voice carries the events straight into American living rooms. Do you agree?

Obviously our ability to receive and process information comes at a much greater speed than in years past, but I feel like the limited access to technology in the past was exactly the reason that it seemed to hit home more at that time............people were LITERALLY hanging onto every word because that was all they had to go by.

 

 


 

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literature
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Re: Early Chapters, Fall, 1940 (1-8)

Choisya wrote:

 

V2 long range rockets did actually fall on London.

It was the V-1s or doodlebugs which were fired across the Channel onto London and they were very frightening indeed because just before they fell they suddenly went silent and people had no idea where they would land.  Here is a first hand account of them.  Apart from these the bombs which fell during the Blitz were high explosive and incendiary bombs and thousands of these were dropped in London on on most of our major cities.  Other bombs were 'butterfly bombs' which were small and looked like toys - very dangerous for children, who sometimes picked them up:smileysad:.  By May 1941, 43,000 people had been killed across Britain and more than a million were made homeless.  London was bombed for 57 consecutive days and nights - here is a first hand account of that.  Hitler was surprised by the resilience of Londoners - he had thought Brits would surrender and when they didn't he turned his attention to the invasion of Russia, possibly his biggest mistake of the war. 
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Choisya, I've been reading a lot of the comments posted and your comments read as if you are a character actually broadcasting in the story.  How unfortunate that you had to live through this.  Reading about WWII is one thing but hearing it from someone you know (or a participant in the bookclub) is something else; it makes it so much more real and horrific.

 

 

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Sunltcloud
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Re: Music during the War (2)

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All entertainment was heavily censured under Hitler. My grandfather’s extensive library was decimated to a minimum. All the books he loved had to be burned. My mother said that they carried basket after basket to the public market place to be destroyed. I can’t remember listening to the radio, but I remember Leni Riefenstahl as movie maker and chief propagandist and I remember the popularity of Marlene Dietrich with Lili Marlene. This song was liked by many countries, it seems, once "verboten" by Goebbels, but reinstated, and still it rings in my ears. If you are interested in the background go to wikipedia here

 

Circa 1933 Hitler had begun to sanitize the German arts and entertainment scene. Theatre, literature, film, press, radio were degraded to mirrors of his goals. He demanded a new lifestyle, new direction in art, a new cultural outlook, based on German “clean” blood and race. The cultural organizations and unions of the Weimar Republic were replaced by the propaganda apparatus of the NSDAP (Nazi party)

In 1933 in Berlin the Reichskulturkammer was opened. Pop music and dance music titles of that time tended to obstruct a clear view of what was going on behind the scene and diverted attention away from the terrible actions that took place. Faschist cultural politic was intense. 

 

This is what Eugen Hadamowsky, one of the Third Reich’s cultural leaders said: “Can a country as culturally advanced as Germany allow itself to bring in **bleep** jazz? Would it not damage a German’s soul to get his music from a Hottentott kral?”

But swing and jazz that had been imported since the end of WWI, simply continued without competition from overseas. American originals were re-produced by German bands, given German titles, and played openly.

 

From conversations at home, a long time ago, I am aware that there were "official songs" with secondary texts attached that made fun of the regime; those were sung with enthusiasm when nobody listened who could report you. When I was a child my mother would punish me if I sang "dirty" ditties that had to do with the war. For instance one that I remember is about butter. We sang, "Meine Mutter schmiert die Butter immer and der Wand lang, immer an der Wand lang." It means "my mother smeared the butter along the wall, along the wall." Since no butter was available it was a great sin to poke fun at such a commodity. We feared the wrath of our mothers as much as our mothers feared the wrath of the Third Reich, but children couldn't help themselves and mothers often secretly grinned when they discussed our little sins.