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For Those Who Are Lost by Julia Bryan Thomas []



In the chaos of evacuating children from Guernsey to England in 1940, Lily Carre switches places with her sister Helen, undertaking the care of a pair of children–Henry and Catherine Simon–who are being reluctantly sent away by their mother Ava. Lily wants to escape an unhappy marriage, and Helen wants to remain on Guernsey with their aging parents. Once in England, Lily puts nine-year-old Henry on a train bound for Manchester, where he starts out in a dormitory of evacuees and is eventually sent to a Yorkshire farm for the rest of the war. Lily takes four-year-old Catherine with her to Cornwall, which she arbitrarily chose based on its proximity to the sea and distance from the continent. They find refuge with the assistance of local vicar Peter Ashby and embed themselves in village life, Lily posing as a widow and Catherine’s mother. Following the stories of Lily, Ava, Henry, and Peter during the war, and checking in with Catherine thirty years later, the reader sees several aspects of life during wartime and long term consequences of impulsive decisions.

A sure bet for readers of personal war stories and those who want to know, “What about the women and children?”

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