Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Book review: The Girl from Station X - Elisa Segrave

The blurb.
“A typical day on the 4 to 12 shift, as I am at present, so that the sheer agony of it may be placed on record for me to look back on, perhaps one day in the far distant future when this period may be seen like a nightmare and be mercifully semi-observed in oblivion so that I shall remember only the glory of my position as the first and only woman on the watch and holding the most responsible position of any woman in the Hut.” October 12th 1942.

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 opinion.
The Girl from Station X tells the story of a young woman who's life was forever changed by the War. She went from being a "spoiled rich girl" to someone who actively worked for her country... while struggling to find herself. But it's not just another story about the War. By using quotes from her mother's diary and adding additional information, Elisa gave us a new, original sneak peek into the past. I loved how she made the story fluent by 'talking together' those diary quotes.
Unfortunately though, the story never really captivated me. Elisa's relationship with her mother isn't a very good one, and although I understand that she was struggling to connect with her mother and that she now found a new way to get to know her - through her diaries, their relationship often stood in the way of her mother's story about her youth. Too often I felt Elisa was trying to justify her frustrations with her mother and it came across as 'bitter', in a way... Luckily this was mostly the case for the first part of the book and it really was a fascinating 'snapshot'.

The Girl from Station X is available through

Many thanks to LoveReadingUK for providing me with a review copy.
I really enjoyed this unique and fresh 'memoire'.

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