In Spite of All Terror – Hester Burton, 1968

A teenage favorite I’ve read many times since. It brings WWII Britain to life for me like nothing else I’ve read, and experiencing 15-year-old Liz Hawtin’s ability to start fending for herself among strangers, with little to fall back on, always inspires me. Class divisions, career paths, family disappointment, the comforts of literature, even teenage pregnancy–it covers a lot. The bombing of London, which my own father lived through, is vivid, but what sticks with me even more is Ben Brereton and his grandfather joining in the little boats of Dunkirk evacuation. I’ve tried some other titles by Burton, but they don’t hold a candle this one.

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