25 May 2013

A candid review of Derek Smith's 'Wild Strawberries'

"I was lent this book by a friend, and was a little concerned as to whether I would enjoy it. It is not my usual type of book. I mostly read crime/murder mysteries. But I was drawn to this book because of it's location. It is set in part of South Staffordshire that I know very well. It tells the true story of the experience of a 9 year old boy who is evacuated from Birmingham during the second world war to the countryside. I was amazed by the courage of the little boy, even when facing adversity, and stuck in a terrible hospital/nursing home for a long time, he never lost his positive spirit, I can definitely say that I would not have coped so well in such miserable circumstances. This boy came from a modern home in the city of Birmingham to live in a very primitive house in the countryside in totally different surroundings.
Yet right from the start he is determined to become an expert in the country and to make the best of his situation. I particularly enjoyed the first half of the book. This is the time before he is taken away to hospital when he is roaming around the countryside having just the sort of adventures that I did as a young child. And knowing the area as well as I do, I was able to follow his adventures exactly, knowing precisely which field or lane he was exploring. I felt so sorry for this book and the author, as it is currently sitting without a review, and as I enjoyed it so much I thought that I would leave a positive review, as the author (and evacuee) really deserve it."

About the book:
This is the true story of a nine year old boy who, at the height of the Birmingham blitz, is transported from his ‘all mod cons’ big city home to the safety of a house in a remote south Staffordshire hamlet, a mile and a half from nowhere, where he finds himself living in domestic and sanitary conditions that have remained unaltered for over a thousand years – the culture shock to end all culture shocks.
Derek Smith is the author of two books: 'No Cousin of Mine' and 'Wild Strawberries'


Paperback | Waterstones | Amazon UK