Farming, Fighting and Family: A Memoir of the Second World War

Written by Miranda McCormick
Review by Helene Williams

Based on the diaries and letters of Pamela Street, a young woman coming of age in the late 1930s, this chronicle of the life of a British family during World War II is both inviting and engaging. Readers experience Pamela’s shift from a fairly narrow, self-centered worldview to the fear, frustration, and deprivation of wartime life. Street was the daughter of author/broadcaster A.G. Street, and while he farmed, wrote novels, and spoke to the country over the BBC, Pamela kept her own record, revealing her thoughts on men, parties, and women’s war work. She writes of meeting David McCormick shortly before he ships off to Egypt, and nearly becoming engaged, then reports her angst and uncertain feelings when he is captured and kept in a prisoner of war camp for the next four years. She learns to drive a tractor to sow and reap much-needed food, and endures a grueling schedule as a nurse in a war hospital. Miranda McCormick, Pamela’s daughter, compiled family diaries and letters to honor the daily lives of her parents and grandparents, and readers benefit from the first person perspectives on events both large and small that changed the world forever.