Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the very strange story of a young 21-year-old Sophia, living in London just after World War II. Life was hard in Europe at the time, it is the middle of a depression and many people were struggling to get by. Sophia meets Charles, who she falls in love with. Against the wishes of his family, Charles marries Sophia in a quiet ceremony. The two lived a very bohemian lifestyle as artists grasping for their next opportunity to paint or model. But times were hard and the two often found themselves without money, food, or electricity and it didn't go up from there.
What was so strange about the book is that the story is told from Sophia's eyes and she has quite a dry sense of humor. The story was mostly sad, at times extremely sad, yet there were some almost laugh out loud parts. You feel so bad for poor Sophia and the situations she would find herself in but you had to laugh at her descriptions of her surroundings and her inner thoughts. If you're not laughing, you're crying. You want to hate her and her husband at times for the stupid decisions they make. At other times you want to cheer Sophia on when things are getting better. Then things will go so horribly you just can't imagine that she'll survive. I suspect that the poverty described is quite possibly true to life in post-war London and for that reason and for the ending, it is worth the read.
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