You Are My Sunshine

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Everyone thinks Kay Duffield is marrying in haste, but with her fiance' about to leave the country for war, and her own military service about to begin, she knows she must seize the day. So, "with time's winged chariot drawing near," the two young lovers savor each of their precious moments together, knowing these blissful few days must stretch indefinitely, lingering only as memories to comfort each in the despair of solitude.

Once entrenched in the war effort, Kay meets and ...

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Overview

Everyone thinks Kay Duffield is marrying in haste, but with her fiance' about to leave the country for war, and her own military service about to begin, she knows she must seize the day. So, "with time's winged chariot drawing near," the two young lovers savor each of their precious moments together, knowing these blissful few days must stretch indefinitely, lingering only as memories to comfort each in the despair of solitude.

Once entrenched in the war effort, Kay meets and befriends three women in her line of work: There is shy Emily, who has just left her family's farm for the first time; down-to-earth Biddy, a recent survivor of the bombing of Liverpool, and rambunctious Jo, who laughs in the face of authority and is bound to get the gang in trouble.

Relying on each other through good times and bad, the foursome brave the danger of war together. In doing so, they forge a kinship unlike any other during one of the most volatile times in recent history.

You Are My Sunshine, beautifully crafted and faithful to its WWII era, is an enthusiastic toast to that rarest of finds, the kindred spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The latest historical romance novel from veteran British writer Saxton is as warm, comforting--and sugary--as the endless cups of tea and cocoa with which it abounds. Four young English women from varied backgrounds become friends during WWII when they enlist in the WAAF as barrage balloon operatives (or "bops"), who handle the blimps forming part of Britain's anti-aircraft defense. Three of them are 17-year-olds. Kay Duffield, a beautiful, pampered blonde from a well-to-do family in a country town, has rushed into a hasty war-time marriage with a soldier who is posted abroad after their four-day honeymoon. Shy and mousy Emily Bevan is escaping her restrictive life as the only child of parents who live on an isolated sheep farm in North Wales. Jo Stewart, a pretty, popular and sexually inexperienced tomboy, is prickly and difficult, especially toward authority figures. And Biddy Bachelor, an unattractive, undernourished Irish "scouser" with a smart mouth, lies about her age and enlists at 15 to escape memories of the blitz that leveled her slum house, killing her family. This is an old-fashioned English girls' school novel, with the addition of discreetly described romances for the heroines. The detailed portrayal of wartime privations valiantly endured is interesting and moving, as is the depiction of each young woman's increasing competence and assurance as she masters her dangerous and demanding job. The British wartime slang may be daunting for even ardent Anglophiles, but expatriates seeking a sentimental, easy read will enjoy the memories. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
This new work from historical novelist Saxton (Harvest Moon) is sure to appeal to readers who like good, old-fashioned storytelling. Set in England during World War II, it chronicles the growing relationship among four young women--Kay, Emily, Biddy, and Jo--who come together to do their part for the war effort. At the center is Kay, whose marriage to a handsome RAF officer opens the novel. Even the most unsuspecting reader will quickly come to the conclusion that Kay hasn't made the right choice for lifelong happiness--especially since childhood companion Steve is heartbroken over her marriage and waits patiently in the wings. The scenes dealing with the women's experiences in the WAAF are especially good and often quite exciting, and the English expressions and slang that dot almost every page only enhance the sense of another time and place. The ending, although not what most readers would envision, does bring the story to a rather poignant close. Not quite as well done as a Rosamunde Pilcher or Maeve Binchy novel, this will still appeal to the same readership. A good purchase for any public library.--Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Four young Englishwomen join the WAAFS during WW II and volunteer to fly barrage balloons: huge anchored dirigibles sent up over military sites to hinder the flight of enemy aircraft. Kay Duffield, a lovely newlywed from a sheltered background, is front and center in this rather silly tale, the leader of the little band of "bops" (balloon operatives). With a brave sniffle or two, she packs her impossibly blond husband off to the front and proceeds to pine decorously over Steve Minton, the gorgeous man-next-door. When not thus occupied, Kay befriends the tomboyish Jo Stewart, who ran away from her miserable, grudging Mum only to confront the little vicissitudes of British army life: no hot water, crude outhouses, canned beans and bad bread for tiffin, etc. Class lines are crossed and new friendships formed when more colorful characters are brought on stage, livening up the sluggish pace: Emily Bevan, a Welsh farmer's daughter who'd much rather wrestle barrage balloons than cranky sheep; and Biddy Bachelor, an impoverished but shrewd girl from Liverpool, who's delighted with their primitive accommodations and loves to gab. Rarely, in fact, have so many talked so much about so little. But all is not beer and skittles. It's darkly hinted that the young women are not strong enough for the risky work they do—and, predictably, one of their number will be dead before the story draws to its chatty close. The war is familiar ground for this prolific author (Someone Special, 1995, etc.), but Saxton's gushy style is irritating. And higgledy-piggledy heaps of trivia don't help. More than you ever wanted to know about dirigibles.Stein, Michael THE LYNCHING TREE Permanent Press (194pp.) Dec. 2000
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780750516174
  • Publisher: Magna Large Print Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Series: Magna Large Print Ser.
  • Pages: 496

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Insightful WW II drama

    In 1941 during England¿s ¿finest hour¿, things looked awfully bleak. With the men off fighting Hitler, women began to join the military performing support jobs. These British lasses come from different parts of the country with different backgrounds, but many have given up their social lives to do historically male jobs. <P>Kay marries, makes love, and sends her spouse off to war before joining the BOP (balloon operatives) line. At work, she meets and befriends Emily (a shy Welsh farmer¿s daughter leaving home for the first time), Biddy (an Irishwoman inner city survivor of the Nazi bombing raids), and Jo (person who enjoys defying authority). Together, they help each other survive. <P> YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE is a well-written World War II historical novel that centers on the rarely chronicled war efforts of females. The four lead characters seem authentic as the audience can picture them working with the air balloons as well as their relationships with one another and others. The use of Anglo slang adds to the genuine feel of the plot, but also proves difficulty in understanding and at times slows the story line down. Judith Saxon has written an interesting tale that World War II purists will find quite refreshing. <P>Harriet Klausner

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