**An interesting and informative read about an infamous and dramatic event! **
Lotte’s War is both an autobiography and historical novel. Although short, it entails Lotte Moore’s life before, during and after the Second World War. Whilst everyone today is aware of the events of this global event, it is apparent from this book that the war affected every person differently and that each individual’s experience was unique. For instance, we discover that Lotte was evacuated at the age of five to Herefordshire, but she compares how her experience was perhaps not as bad as those who were transported overseas to America, Canada and Australia. The age at which she was evacuated reminded me of the experience had by my own grandfather, who was evacuated to Yorkshire at five years old. As a result, this made Lotte’s War all the more poignant for me because I imagined what my grandfather went through and how he felt. You additionally begin to envisage how you would feel if you were sent away from your family and the place that you called home.
This book is historically informative as it contains photographs with captions explaining many things, from Lotte’s father as an RAF pilot, to ration books, bombed houses and evacuated children. I think that the effect of these pictures is a rather touching and haunting one; it makes you realise that the war affected real people and changed their lives dramatically. You also implant yourself into these images and the situations the pictures are showing as you imagine what it would be like to have your house bombed or be evacuated.
The most moving element of this novel is perhaps how innocent Lotte and many other children were. Whilst the adults were aware of the politics of and reasons for the war, children were not. They knew something serious was happening involving Britain and Germany, but they did not comprehend the gravity of such a global event. The types of entertainment that Lotte describes might shock the reader as there were no TVs, iPads, phones or games consoles that we have now. All they had were each other, radios and books. In this day of modern technology, it is hard to imagine being in a world where technical devices for entertainment do not exist. However, I think this puts into perspective how fortunate we are now and how we perhaps take things for granted that we should appreciate, such as having enough food to eat and not living in fear.
Lotte’s War can be read by anyone of any age and although Moore’s short novel may be aimed at children, I think it has a greater power; as an adult, you read this book and it piques your interest to read more novels about the Second (and perhaps First) World Wars and what it was like living during such a volatile time, both in Britain and Germany. If you’re looking for a reflective and thought-provoking read, then Lotte’s War is certainly one for you to try.
Lotte’s War is available in bookstores and online in paperback and Kindle formats.