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Lillian's Story by Sally Patricia Gardner - kindle free books

Lillian's life spans the 20th century.Born in Suffolk in 1900, in service at the age of 12, her life is greatly changed by her experiences in two world wars. 

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Lillian's life spans the 20th century.Born in Suffolk in 1900, in service at the age of 12, her life is greatly changed by her experiences in two world wars.

The Great Depression, the austerity years,President Kennedy's assassination, Neil Armstrong's moon walk and the death of Princess Diana are among the many events of this turbulent century that are told through their effect on her long life.

Among the many plaudits the novel received on it's first publication, Tom Baker, the actor, wrote: 'Sally really can write - a real heartbreaking saga but with laughs too. And the subject! Well, how could one go better, war, women, children, love, death?'

Dora Bryan,O.B.E, M.A, and much loved actress, wrote in her foreword:'Lillian's Story could only have been written by someone with great experience of life-someone who has survived great sorrow and great joy.

Everything I read felt like my own life-the sadness and the joy, the love of animals, the comfort of friendship. This book is so truthful and I love truth in everything.

Lillian's Story by Sally Patricia GardnerLillian's Story (fiction)
Sally Patricia Gardner (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £0.98
Kindle Price: £0.00 
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Reviews from Amazon:

Sally's first published work. A great story with lots of historical accuracy, it tells about the life of a woman (Lillian) who is born on the first day of the Twentieth Century and who dies on the last...
It was before I began reading this book that I struggled with what particular genre it would fall into. The title `Lillian's Story' gave little away and made me wonder if the novel was generally directed at a female audience. Sally Gardner announces the piece as "one woman's journey through the 20th century' which immediately struck alarm bells with me. 

Was I about to be subjected to an autobiographical tale which I've never been attracted to and avoided because I've always felt excluded from? Would it be an historical novel full of the usual musty clich├ęs? A girlie love story where the heroin eventually gets her man after years of dire poverty, heartbreak and abuse before she eventually opens up her first chain of hotels? I started the book later in the evening and was surprised how easily the author drew me into the life of this remarkable woman known as Lillian. 

Sally Gardner's writing sapped my attention and I regret that work, eating and sleeping got in the way of not allowing me to finish this lovely story in one sitting. But I'm glad I didn't read it all at once because the breaks helped me to reflect on some of the events the book covers. Lillian's Story recounts the life of a woman who was born at the beginning of the last century in 1900 and her life ends in November 1999 when she is almost one hundred years old. 

The story is made up of extracts from the main characters diary and provides the reader with a personal and quite beautiful history of the century. The human and emotional themes of love, death, tragedy, hope, despair and extreme happiness and joy are all covered in a truly organic sense that just about anyone with any feelings at all can associate with. 

But the rather intelligent twist here is that the major and some minor events of the twentieth century, which readers will be familiar with are inter-woven into the personal life of this lovely woman and readily demonstrate how we all participate in human events even though we sometimes feel isolated from them. She begins her life in domestic service and then somehow survives the two great wars but suffers a great deal of loss. 

She fares well through the unfashionable forties and fifties but finds true love with two husbands she devotes herself to. She has children, then grandchildren and then great grandchildren but like us all, she gets older. Nothing too special about the story some would say except that the reader becomes integrated into this woman's life and becomes a willing participant in experiencing the emotions of events we know of but have taken for granted. 

We've heard of Rudolph Nureyev but I'd never considered what might have been the impact of his death to people who were familiar with during the thirties or the psychological affect of film, especially musical film and that incredible transition from black and white to colour. Or the emotions and despair many thousands of people would have felt when they emerged from the shelters after a bombing raid. 

Or that terrible sense of loss and fear in sending a child away to the country and not knowing if you would see them again. And the cold war and the fashions and the building projects. The deaths and cures for diseases and Nixon and the Queen and walking on the moon and Princess Diana. And all the other events of the twentieth century which have moulded all of you lives This book is a pleasant reminder of the events which have brought us to where we are now but the writer never allows the reader to forget that this is a personal account of a private life. 

How many of us who have little to do with religion or have lost the religious faith that was drummed into us as children have mentally made pacts with the man upstairs that we'd worship him every day if he'll just do this little thing for us? How many of us pretend that the death of an animal is simplistic and logical and just shrug it off as part of life but secretly we've been dying and screaming inside but don't want to (somehow) appear weak? 

How many have wanted to dance or sing or wear something outrageous that says "look at me" but decide against it because it might make us look foolish? 

Well this happened with Lillian and Sally Gardner allows us to meander through Lillian's personal thoughts and become a part of the woman's life and offer empathy and affection. This is a lovely book which moves confidently along and it was hard to put down though when I did it brought back memories of some of the events. 

I still remain unsure about which genre this fits into because fiction is far too broad. But that just doesn't matter because it's a bad habit to pigeon-hole everything we do. Better to just accept it as a good read. I have no reservations in recommending this book and would suggest a little rummage through its riches when you need a lift. Sally Patricia Gardner's writing is "a little bit of what you fancy" and yes, it does you good.

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