Monday, August 8, 2011

BOOK: Coventry by Helen Humphreys

Coventry by Helen Humphreys, 177 pages

Canadian Book Challenge 5

During World War Two, the cathedral in Coventry was the only cathedral in England that was demolished, in a terrible night of bombing. Humphreys immerses the reader in what it must be like to live in a town under seige. Is it better to be in a shelter and not know what is going on, but possibly safe? Or is it better to be on the streets, controlling a bit what happens, and at least able to see? There really is no good place to be.

The story begins in the first world war as Harriet is sending her husband of two months off to France. Most second world war stories in England are connected in some way to the first war. Still living in Coventry in 1940, Harriet really has nothing left to lose. She spends the night running around Coventry, trying to get safe, and helping Jeremy find his mother, Maeve. Maeve is also trying to find Jeremy.

I'm not sure how Humphreys did it, but so much happened in such a short book. Characters came to life so quickly, and I really enjoyed getting to know Harriet and Maeve. Both were strong, independent women who write and draw to help process the horror they saw that night.  I am not giving this book enough of a good review, because it was a wonderful, wonderful read and I'll definitely look for more books written by Helen Humphreys.

Much better reviews can be found: Jill at the Magic Lasso; Sandra at Fresh Ink Books;