Home Fires

Home Fires

The Story of the Women's Institute in the Second World War

Book - 2015
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"Soon to be a PBS Masterpiece series starring Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey) and Francesca Annis (Cranford). Away from the frontlines of World War II, in towns and villages across Great Britain, ordinary women were playing a vital role in their country's war effort. As members of the Women's Institute, an organization with a presence in a third of Britain's villages, they ran canteens and knitted garments for troops, collected tons of rosehips and other herbs to replace medicines that couldn't be imported, and advised the government on issues ranging from evacuee housing to children's health to postwar reconstruction. But they are best known for making jam: from produce they grew on every available scrap of land, they produced twelve million pounds of jam and preserves to feed a hungry nation. Home Fires, Julie Summers's fascinating social history of the Women's Institute during the war (when its members included the future Queen Elizabeth II along with her mother and grandmother), provides the remarkable and inspiring true story behind the upcoming PBS Masterpiece series that will be sure to delight fans of Call the Midwife and Foyle's War. Through archival material and interviews with current and former Women's Institute members, Home Fires gives us an intimate look at life on the home front during World War II." -- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2015
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780143108450
Branch Call Number: 940.5308 Su
Characteristics: 349 pages, 8 unnumbered unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Summers, Julie Jambusters


Featured Blogs and Events

Home Fires, Week 3

Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of Home Fires.  Much of this section centered on rationing. Wasn't it interesting to read about all the restrictions and things people did to grow more food? I enjoyed reading how people were so creative and industrious. I thought it was interesting that the rationing was the same for everyone regardless of social status or job. That… (more)

Home Fires, Week 2

Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Home Fires by Julie Summers.  How did you like the first chapters of the book? Are you enjoying learning all the facts about the Women's Institute? I'm enjoying learning the facts, but I wish there were more of a narrative so I could follow the story of just one or two main characters. I am having a hard time keeping up with the names… (more)

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From Library Staff

Online Book club pick for April 2019. In this nonfiction account, Julie Summers tells the story of the Women's Institute, an organization in which women banded together to help the war effort during World War II.

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Aug 07, 2018

Moves slowly but is relaxing for that reason. Enjoyed having a program focused on women for a change. Wish they had emphasized the women's ingenuity and abilities more. Women were the backbone of the country during the War. A little too much emphasis on the interpersonal issues between two women leaders.

Feb 07, 2017

Good book about the hidden rural home front & the grassroot organization to help the evacuees, organize collections & feed the nation (eg. canned jam) to offset the imported food sunk by U-boats without fuel rations exemption while raising the family & running the farm.


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