Armistice Day – 11.11@11

Today is Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of World War 1, at 11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month 1918.

The facts are well known, a recently novel puts the human side of the horror and heroism.

Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio tells the story of New Zealand nurses Addie Harrington and Meg Dutton who serve in Egypt and France.

Historical details and the inclusion of some real names among the fictional characters helps adds to the feeling of authenticity.

The characters, what happens to them and how they react feel real and true to the time.

This is a herstory,  concentrating on the women, telling their stories in their words and helping us see what happened through their eyes.

It is a story of ordinary people dealing with extraordinary conditions and events without being either maudlin or saccharine.

Lives We leave Behind by Maxine Alterio, Penguin 2012: The author’s website is here.


One Response to Armistice Day – 11.11@11

  1. Neil says:

    World War 1 was shocking, both in its barbarity and the eventual implications for World War 2 and the current European Union.
    Being lucky to be in Europe in September I visited Nuremberg to see the Nazi Era museum. What a tremendous visit – horrific and
    The Allies in WW2 France, US and Great Britain, didn’t make the mistake of World War 1 of hammering the vanquished, rather build them up under supervision. With the EU as a check, European security is much more stable.
    The Russians literally raped Hungary,Czechoslovakia and East Germany, creating the foundations of hatred towards them.
    Great to see countries like Hungary,Slovakia and the Czech Republic do so well. They are great countries where people appreciate freedom !
    Winning the war is only part of the equation, it is essential to create a foundation for peace.


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