Reviews - What do customers think about Vera and Eddy's War?
Timeless Tales 5 stars review Aug 6, 2003
Author Sam Smith has written the story of his parents-in-law, Vera and Eddy, during Second World War. Starting correctly at the beginning, this documentary follows Vera and Eddy in the war years. Eddy is a bricklayer who decides to volunteer in the Home Guards. We follow the couple as Eddy is sent almost all over Britain in order to train and Vera has to run her hair dresser's shop under heavy bombing from the Germans. Soon Eddy is sent to France and has to fight his way with the rest of the troops to drive the Germans back. Back home Vera is struggling on with a baby who needs medical attention and a husband whom she does not know is alive or dead.
This documentary is written in a peculiar staccato style that takes a while to get used to. And I have to admit, I was in the beginning wondering whether I would ever be able to finish it. I am happy to report that I was dead wrong. Once I got used to the short sentences and the seemingly (that being the key word) superficial way Mr. Smith describes the two main characters and the hoard of secondary characters, this book was a joy to read. I was soon captivated with the stories of those who experienced the horrors of war. And these horrors are described matter-of-factly and because of the lack of melodrama and histrionics they stand out so much starker. There is a lot of humor here and anecdotes you will never find in the standard books about the War. The Kafkaesque bureaucracy is hilarious and, more importantly, tragic considering that this is a documentary. This is the Second World War seen through the eyes of the regular people - those who died in droves. If you are going to read only one book about the ordinary people's experience of the War in your lifetime, let Vera and Eddy's War be the one.