Here is a selection of reviews for 1923: A Memoir
"Smith's coming of age memoir takes readers on a journey of poverty and heartbreak that is the author's childhood and young adulthood growing up between the first and second world wars. Smith stays true to himself and his inner voice as he recounts the events of his early life."
"This was a hard book to read, must have been hard to write and incredibly hard to live through. I grew up very poor so can identify with parts of his early life. His is an amazing story and I look forward to reading his next book."
"It is always interesting to see eras, such as World War II, through the eyes of one single individual. This is a well written memoir that follows the author’s life through his difficult childhood in the Great Depression, showing how his mother slowly began to give up her ideals to put food on the table for her children, while Harry turned to library books for solace. "
"Very well written, fast moving social history that reminds of Angela's Ashes."
1923 "The platform was deserted while I waited for my train to take me to Padgate for induction. It was cold and damp, and grey. Sweet smoke from the McIntosh candy plant fell like drizzle across the station. I reached into my overcoat and found a near empty packet of cigarettes. I placed one into my mouth. I struck a match furiously and began to inhale the harsh tobacco. In the distance, I could hear the whistle of the train. I could smell the coal burning off its engine. I could smell the coal which had been dug from the pits of Barnsley, Elsecar and Barley Hole. I could taste it in my mouth around my teeth and on my tongue. It was the soot of my father and my grandfather and all my ancestors who laboured beneath the ground. As the train drew its way into the belly of the station, another passenger approached the platform. He was a man in his fifties, long past the time for war and he was whistling the tune “run rabbit run rabbit run, run, run…..”