Today I’d like to share with you a book review. One of my favourite genres to read falls under the category ‘tales of bygone days’. It feeds my intrigue of days when life wasn’t as easy as it is for many of us now. Gilda O’Neill’s ‘East End Tales’ satisfied my curiosity. The front cover alone drew me in: two young girls spinning around a lamp post, on a rope, skirts tucked into their knickers. The look of sheer glee on their faces, the blissful ignorance of any health and safety or any grown-up decency. Not an i-anything in sight! No phone glued to their hands…
Just throwing caution to the wind and living in the ‘now’ (or then!) and enjoying the moment.
Despite the over-riding theme of hardship, poverty and squaller running through the ‘tale’, O’Neill manages to paint a wistful picture of East End London life.
These days it’s difficult to really fathom how financially restrained the majority of East Enders were. Even more difficult to imagine the squaller. To them, weekly baths (at best) were the norm. They knew no different. But to us, it’s ‘squaller’.
You can smell the smells, you can taste the grit as O’Neill touches on the main points of life back then. I really felt that I’d lived a tiny part of her East End life with her.
As the front cover suggests, this is a ‘quick read’ and if you don’t read it quickly, then it’s very readable and perfect for dipping into when you get the chance.
So tell me, do you like reading about the bygone days?
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