Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club!
Are you still enjoying Small Island this month? I am! I thought the first section was a little slow, but this second section was really interesting to me.
A lot of the action in this second section revolved around Queenie. I was really interested to learn about her past. I was pretty surprised that she had such a colorful background with a father who was a butcher. For some reason, after reading about her in the first section, I assumed that she was a city woman or that she came from a really posh background. I was really surprised that she came from a working class background.
The most arresting parts of this section were the scenes about the bombings in London. I found those scenes to be the most revealing about each character. Bernard showed how much he cared for both his father and Queenie, and in that last bombing scene, Queenie showed that she does have some sort of feelings for Bernard.
Did you have a hard time really picturing the terror that would accompany that kind of random bombing? I did. I cannot imagine how frightening it would be to be roused from my bed and have to hide underground. It would be so terrifying to think that at any moment my house could be decimated. I think I would lose my mind if I had to endure that for even one night.
After reading this section, I did a little research about the bombings in London, and I found a couple of cool links that I think you should check out. First, here’s a first hand account of The Blitz, told from the perspective of a World War II correspondent, Ernie Pyle. Next, there’s a YouTube video that shows some footage from the bombings—this was especially interesting to me. Finally, take some time to listen to this radio account of the bombings. It’s a really interesting glimpse into the past.
Finally, to encourage you to watch the mini-series, I am leaving another clip! But, be warned, there’s a little bit of a spoiler at the end of the clip, so don’t watch past minute 2 of the video unless you have read the last section of the book. The scene I am linking to is the one where Hortense musters up the courage to ask what a chip is—I love how the clip allows the viewer to really see how hard it is for her to ask for help!
Let me know what you thought of this section by leaving a comment. Do you have any ideas what Bernard has been up to in the time between the end of the war and 1948? If you have any guesses, make sure to mention them in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you!