Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Review: The Girl from Station X: My Mother's Unknown Life by Elisa Segrave

Title: The Girl from Station X: My Mother's Unknown Life
Author: Elisa Segrave
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Union Books
Publish Date: September 1, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

Why You're Reading This Book:

  • You're a non-fiction fan.
What's the Story?:

From Goodreads.com: "As Anne Segrave approached old age and infirmity, her daughter Elisa was faced with the daunting task of sorting through her mother’s belongings. She was aware of several elements of Anne’s past, but she was astonished to find evidence of an altogether different life when she uncovered a cache of wartime diaries. Now, on the pages before her, Segrave encountered a young woman who put the world of finishing schools and hunt balls behind her to embark on a journey that took her to Bletchley Park, Bomber Command and, eventually, a newly liberated Germany."

My Two Cents: 

"The Girls from Station X" is a non-fiction account of a daughter who finds the diaries of her mother. Much of Elisa Segrave's mother's life had been a mystery to Elisa. Her mother never really spoke much about her early life. When Anna develops Alzheimer's disease, it is up to Elisa to figure out what to do with her things. In this book, she tells the story of her mother's diaries and what she found in them. I think diaries are absolutely amazing prime sources of history so I was very excited to read this book.

I've read many books where the author has drawn on diaries that actually existed in order to create a narrative. What's interesting about this book is that Elisa adds a lot of her own analysis of what she thinks her mother is saying in a certain section and what she's leaving out. There is a lot of supposition here, which made the book very choppy at times. The author jumps in different places in the book where she's telling a story about her mother or her children in present day, which made things a little bit confused.

I really liked the glimpses of Elisa's life that we got in this book. Many of her diary entries were written during World War II, which is still one of my very favorite time periods to read about.

Overall, this book has great historical detail. 



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