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Our Street

by Gilda O' Neill

We have been reading some non-fiction as a group recently, largely in response to the visitors who have written to us asking for suggestions for their groups. Even if they generated heated discussion not all the books we've read have warranted a five star review, but Our Street got a resounding endorsement from everyone because it's so fascinating. We've included it this month because we also felt it would make a very good Christmas present.

Gilda O'Neill grew up in London's East End of the 50's and 60's and her account of her childhood in Bow, My East End, was a huge success. Now she has turned her attention to the same area during the Second World War and, using first hand accounts, has put together a picture of a community that has all but vanished. It is based on personal memories told in the words of the people who lived through it and, like most oral history, has a power and immediacy often lacking in more traditional accounts of the period. Illustrated with wonderful photographs and government information posters, it is a fascinating record of a momentous time and its effect on the lives of ordinary people.

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