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No Cake, No Jam: Hardship and Happiness in Wartime London

av Marian Hughes

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
711,942,111 (4.5)Ingen/inga
"No Cake, No Jam is the heart-warming true story of a little girl's London childhood during the Blitz, and of how she rose above adversity through sheer guts and strength of character. Marian Hughes was born in the same year as her father committed suicide. She spent most of her early childhood with her elder sisters and brother in Spurgeon's Orphanage in South London. There she learned to love extravagant hymns and to receive regular beatings. Suddenly, when Marian was ten, her mother appeared. All four children were swept up by their mother to live in a damp and filthy flat off Baker Street. There began a life of moonlight flits, camping and squats. Marian's mother forgot to feed her children, and paid no attention to school or the bombing. Marian soon turned to begging and stealing to help the family get by. Marian's brother and elder sisters left home as soon as they could, but Marian remained to support her deranged and frequently violent mother, evading Care and Protection Orders and often running away. Then the day finally came when Marian had to sign the papers to have her mother committed. From that moment, 14-year-old Marian had to find out if she was strong enough to live for herself...Throughout all the twists and turns of her childhood, Marian never lost her spirit and never faltered in her loyalty. Full of vigour, truth, humour and curiosity, No Cake, No Jam is a passionate celebration of a life and love"--Publisher's description.… (mer)
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This is really a delightful and insightful memoir. The author had a knack for making it quite clear how horrendous her childhood was in so many ways, while somehow not making the book incredibly depressing -- this is NOT "misery lit" although it may sound like it on the surface.

Marian's father committed suicide when she was an infant and her mother suffered from a serious mental illness. She and her three older siblings were raised in a orphanage before being returned to their mother's care when Marian was, I think, eight. Unfortunately, Marian's mother was incapable of taking care of her children or even herself, and the family sank into dire levels of squalor and poverty. Marian stopped going to school and learned to steal in order to eat, and constantly cycled in and out of trouble with the juvenile authorities as a result, even as her mother treated her horribly at home. Yet I couldn't bring myself to feel too sad about her situation, because Marian was, for lack of a better word, spunky, and I was sure she would be able to make something of herself in spite of her dire upbringing. I'm glad it turned out I was right. ( )
  meggyweg | Mar 2, 2017 |
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"No Cake, No Jam is the heart-warming true story of a little girl's London childhood during the Blitz, and of how she rose above adversity through sheer guts and strength of character. Marian Hughes was born in the same year as her father committed suicide. She spent most of her early childhood with her elder sisters and brother in Spurgeon's Orphanage in South London. There she learned to love extravagant hymns and to receive regular beatings. Suddenly, when Marian was ten, her mother appeared. All four children were swept up by their mother to live in a damp and filthy flat off Baker Street. There began a life of moonlight flits, camping and squats. Marian's mother forgot to feed her children, and paid no attention to school or the bombing. Marian soon turned to begging and stealing to help the family get by. Marian's brother and elder sisters left home as soon as they could, but Marian remained to support her deranged and frequently violent mother, evading Care and Protection Orders and often running away. Then the day finally came when Marian had to sign the papers to have her mother committed. From that moment, 14-year-old Marian had to find out if she was strong enough to live for herself...Throughout all the twists and turns of her childhood, Marian never lost her spirit and never faltered in her loyalty. Full of vigour, truth, humour and curiosity, No Cake, No Jam is a passionate celebration of a life and love"--Publisher's description.

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