The Kitchen Front brings you British World War 2 Recipes
What Life Was Like on The Kitchen Front
This novel also brings home exactly how difficult life was for British citizens was during the war…long after it, in fact, since food rationing continued into the early ‘50’s in the UK. I also had not realized how close their society got to practices I associate with communism: young women were conscripted (drafted) to work on farms or factories, and workers could be billeted into your home without your permission. And all the while, people are watching the sky because of the constant German bombing.
Things were much less difficult in North America.
Jennifer Ryan’s background is as a nonfiction book editor, and her short afterword explains the research she did in the U.K. by studying archives and interviewing people in the U.K. The story is invented but is historically accurate in that there was a cooking show for which a female presenter was purposefully brought in, and, in addition, contests of all kinds were popular, especially earlier in the war when things weren’t going well, as easy morale boosters for the public.
While the historical accuracy of the book is evident, Ryan does a good job with restraining the “historical” so that it doesn’t interfere with the “fiction”, an issue that’s often a struggle in similar books.
The Kitchen Front is a great choice when you want a relaxing summer read that gives you a chance to learn something and leaves you feeling a little bit better about the world.
It’s a great book club pick because there’s something for everyone: it’s well written enough to satisfy the picky readers, educational, practical (interesting recipes), and short enough for busy folk to get through.