One Step At A Time

Written by Beryl Matthews
Review by Gwen Sly

Amy Carter at 14 lived in rented rooms in Wapping, her mother suffering from TB and her father a merchant seaman often away at sea. Amy’s time was taken up with housework and caring for her mother, schooling was sporadic and, being unable to read and write, she was frequently bullied. (In 1934 dyslexia had not been discovered as a condition).

In One Step at a Time, Beryl Matthews writes of a London before the Second World War, capturing a frequently gentler era as people had more time for each other. When war breaks out, capturing the atmosphere surrounding the events of the Battle of Britain, Dunkirk and the Blitz, she describes in detail how it affects her well-drawn and human characters.

This is an uplifting story of hope, determination, achievement and success and follows Amy from the lonely child who is left with no one to the finding of happiness beyond her wildest dreams. But this is Britain’s darkest hour when the country needs its young people – can they all survive?

Absorbing and moving, Matthews embroiders her story well.