The Oaken Heart

Naxos. Oct. 2021. 9:24 hrs. ISBN 9781781984079. $27. MEMOIR
In 1940, Allingham, best known as a mystery author, undertook a request from her American publishers to write about her own experiences in wartime Britain. Here she chronicles the preparations and attitudes of the townspeople of Auburn in 1938 as they begin to sense war on the horizon, following them through the spring of 1941. Allingham’s writing style is elliptical, dwelling in great detail on her opinions of various political leaders and decades-old traditions of the town while glossing quickly over topics too personal for public consumption. However, she capably demonstrates the English reluctance to return to conflict after the horrors of the Great War, as well as their steadfast determination to win once war became inevitable. Georgina Sutton offers a narration that is unadorned and comfortable, inviting the listener to join her in Allingham’s memories as though taking a stroll with a treasured friend. Sutton particularly excels at the subtle variations of the local accent heard up and down the class structure.
VERDICT Fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or James Herriot will enjoy this unique historical account.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing