Helen Townsend and neighbour Laura Watson are unlikely friends as a result of serving together in the ATS. Helen is married to the local doctor, but has spent much of the war with her lover Brian, and both men are now due back from active service. Laura, stuck caring for her domineering father, is already missing the freedoms that war offered. They and many others in their village are just beginning to adjust to the unexpected challenges of peace.
In Wine of Honour, Barbara Beauchamp seems somehow to have recognized how unique and fleeting were the details of life in the days and weeks just after the end of World War II, and to have set out to carefully document them – with particular focus on the experiences of women. The result is an incomparable, fly-on-the-wall vision of a fascinating time and place.
Dean Street Press, 9781913054335