Classic Book Review: Early Days

Early Days by Miss Read

Early Days
by Miss Read
3 out of 5 stars

The author tells the story of her own childhood growing up in London and then later in the country. She describes her grandparents, her aunts and uncles, and the little joys and sorrows of her childhood. There is a lot of interesting description about the 1910s, how people lived, how their homes were organized, how they cooked and cleaned and dressed.

In the second half of the book, she goes to a new school which she loves. She makes new friends and discovers the beauties of the countryside. This began a life-long love of nature for the author. There are many descriptions of favorite plants and animals and country fairs.

I love the simple style of this book. It’s very calming and sweet. Each chapter is topical and episodic, giving some structure to the narrative. It’s such an interesting look at history through these personal memories.

There is very little mention of World War I. The author remembers wishing that her father would come home, and then being relieved when he came home safe, and being proud that he had served his country. The author also talks about food being rationed and it being difficult to get new fabric for dresses. But most of the book is about other matters.

I enjoyed reading this charming book, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read other fiction books by this author first. Then I would already be curious about the author, instead of coming into it with no knowledge of who this person is.

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