‘Land Girls’ – Angela Huth
With the country’s men at war, it falls to the land girls to pitch in and do their bit… Stella arrives at Hallows Farm in her Rayon stockings, having just waved goodbye to the love of life – naval officer Philip. Agatha has just graduated from Cambridge; life on the Farm is certainly going to offer her a different kind of education. Prue, a hairdresser from Manchester, is used to painting the town red, not manual labour. Joe dreams of leaving the family farm and becoming a fighter pilot. But with the arrival of these three beautiful young women, there’s enough to keep him busy on the farm for the time being… Work is hard and the effects of war start to take their toll on the three women. But as the bonds of friendship start to form and excitement builds as the RAF dance looms, maybe life in the countryside isn’t so bad after all?
‘The Land Girls’ is a heart-warming story that shows how friendship can endure over time and destruction. Following the lives of three land girls in the second World War, Angela Huth looks at what it must have been like for them in terms of love, life, work and friendship.
The three land girls have such contrasting personalities that readers will find one who they can relate to and I think the author has deliberately done this to allow readers to immerse themselves in the story. Whilst you cannot ignore the fact this is set during the war and based on the real land girls, Huth uses some comedy to make light of what was a very bleak period. And I think it is this, and the relationship that exists between all of the characters, that makes this story so heart warming.
Following Mr and Mrs Lawrence as they adapt to having land girls is interesting to observe as the writer initially presents them as quite cold and stand-offish. In contrast, their son Joe spends the novel rebelling against what is expected of him by society and his parents and the reader can’t help but support Joe in his conquests with the girls, even if they really shouldn’t! On the other hand the reader follows Ratty, the farm’s old hand, and the changes he undergoes through working with the land girls. Whilst there is some sense of liberty at the end of the story, the reader can’t help but feel sorry for him and what he has been through.
This is definitely one to read. Whilst you know that Huth has fictionalised the story of the land girls and given it a heart – warming edge, there are plenty of elements to the story that make you sit and think about what life was like during the second World War. This will give you the escapism desired from a novel, but with the added dimension of its historical context.