Saplings, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

A devastating novel that follows the fortunes of the Wiltshires, a typical, middle-class English family, as they try to deal with the effects of WWII on the home front. Streatfeild's insights into children and teenagers are uncannily sharp, particularly her observations about the eldest girl, Laurel, the more so because they are delivered in such no-nonsense, matter-of-fact prose.

Review by

The beginning was unpromising - a seemingly ordinary upper middle class family enjoying a day at the beach. My interest was snagged when it became clear that this is not a stereotypical happy family. Mother Lena sees herself first and foremost as a wife, a lover; her role as a mother is very much secondary. Nevertheless, the children have a devoted father, as well as a loving Nannie and a governess and their lives are privileged. Then comes the war, and gradually the family unravels and breaks down. Streatfeild shows the soul-destroying effects of war - of evacuation, of never having a settled home - on the children. Living through it with them in this book is a harrowing but instructive experience. [March 2006]

Review by

Do read this. Set in WWII the story takes us into the heart of the Wiltshire family drawing on their individual feelings and reactions to their experience of life in wartime Britain.The settings and characterisation are second to none and the storyline compelling and fascinating. I just loved the beginning - on the beach, and the pure excitement of 'the saplings' at the thought of 'picnic and prawning', and the singing ..... 'the sea, the sea, the lovely sea'. It so set the scene for the distress, the horror, the sad and bitter sweet story to follow.

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