The House in South Road is an Autobiography by Joyce Storey and edited by her daughter Pat Thorne. After a slump in good reading, this book was a delight.
Joyce Storey was born in 1917, the same year my mother was born. Her life, like most people in England during the war years, was not easy and I remember some of the same hardships she encountered. Without a washing machine, dealing with sheets and towels was no easy task and were soaked in the bath tub before being put through a mangle and hung on the washing line. It was years before Joyce had a home of her own, and like her, we lived with family (my grandparents). Her first home was a prefab. These houses were box-like with a flat roof that were supposed to be temporary housing in an effort to rebuild England after the war. They were manufactured and assembled on the site. No one knew then the dangers of the asbestos that the walls and roof were made from.
The book is very well written and descriptions put you right in the center of Joyce's life.
From the cover:
Born near Bristol in 1917, Joyce began her autobiography at the age of sixty-six. The House in South Road follows her pre-war life in Bristol, an era of corset and chocolate factories, of service and glamorous silent movies. With a brilliant eye for the comic in the tragic, Joyce unfolds her experiences at school, her first job, her first love and a mismatched marriage and motherhood. With humor and intelligence Joyce Storey charts the ordinary story of an extraordinary working class woman's life.