(To listen to the interview, please CLICK on the 'Pod' icon above left next to the title. Thank you.)
KGNU's Claudia Cragg talks here with Vicky Unwin on her latest book compiled from letters her mother, Sheila Mills. wrote during World War Two.
Vicky Unwin when writing it, had also faced the tragic and untimely loss of her daughter Louise, as well as a vicious diagnosis of a malignant sarcoma on her leg.
But with regard to Sheila Mills specifically, she came Unwin says "from a sheltered middle-class upbringing" before she joined the WRNS in 1940.
The working life of a women’s naval officer in World War II was a hard one. The discipline and trials of living and working as a "Wren" plunged her head first into a life of bed bugs, last minute travel, secrecy, and huge responsibility.
But while Sheila met with hard and exciting work during one of the world’s most dangerous conflicts, she also found love, friendship, fun, and the human spirit. Her fascinating encounters, assignments, events, and, of course, the many loves she found and lost, are all seen through her eyes in this lively collection of letters home.
The book itself, and this conversation with Vicky Unwin, both offer unique insight into the coming of age of a young girl in the 1940s, as well as into the intricacies of this mother-daughter relationship. Sheila’s letters have readers laughing—and crying—at the extraordinary life of a young girl who traveled all over the world and witnessed key events in the war.
Vicky Unwin's Vicky Goes Travelling blog.
Her Facebook page for Healthy Living with Cancer.