Saturday 22 August 2020

Land Girls

Finished August 16
Land Girls by Angela Huth

This historical fiction novel is set in late 1941 and 1942 except for a prologue and epilogue. Three young women have signed up to be land girls and do their part in the war. They've gone through their training and been assigned to a farm in the West Country area. The farm is owned by John and Faith Lawrence a middle-aged couple with one grown son. Their son Joe suffers from asthma and so is working on the farm as well. Faith has made over the attic into one large room for the three young women. They also have a local man who helps out, Ratty. He worked as a hired hand for years, until his age lessened his ability to do some of the work. He is a man who has been dealt a bad hand, marrying a woman who proved herself to be more a hindrance than a partner in his life. I found his story a sad one.
Prudence (Prue) was apprenticing as a hairdresser with her mother, who owns a beauty parlour in Manchester before volunteering. Prue loves makeup, clothes, and having fun. She is up for a good time, but comes across as a well-meaning happy young woman looking for her way in the world. Ag, was an undergraduate at Cambridge who wants both a family and a career. She had met a young man briefly in college, never dated him, but seems to hold out hope that he is the man for her. She plans to study law after the war. Stella is from Surrey and her family is well-off. She recently started a relationship with Philip who is in the Navy, and she hopes to have a future with him.
Joe has a fiancee, a girl he's known since they were kids, Janet. Janet is working quite a long ways away putting together spark plugs in a factory. She has access to her father's car, and a couple times a year comes to the farm to see Joe.
As we see the girls get to know each other, and get to know their host family, we also see them engage in the work they've come there to do. From milking cows, cleaning up pens and the yard, working in the fields, and hedging, there is a lot of hard work here and that is made clear. But the girls do their work and get along quite well with each other. They have things they prefer to do, and we see them develop and grow. Prue develops a fondness for the large sow and gets territorial about tending to her needs. She's also proud of her ability to plow a straight furrow. Ag shows a distinct knack for hedging that John is impressed with.
I liked all three girls and was interested to see how the developed and what happened to them after the war. I also found it fascinating to read about the farm work and see what was involved in some of the tasks they undertook.
A very enjoyable read.


  1. Sounds like a lot of characters!!

    1. Not really. There are the three girls, the three people in the host family, Ratty, and about 5 others who come into the story from time to time.