This book came about as a challenge from Julie’s editor to see if the Women’s Institute did anything interesting in the Second World War. As a result of the research she carried out over four years the conclusion she inevitably came to was that there a wealth of material. The year after the book was published ITV bought the rights to turn it into a television drama. It ran under the name of Home Fires for two seasons in 2015 and 2016. The true story of the country women who kept the countryside ticking is what is on offer in Jambusters (Home Fires in the USA and Canada).
Topics to consider for discussion might include:
Coming just 21 years after the First World War what do you think women feared most from the Second World War?
How much did the WI’s Pacifist stance affect the way it was perceived by the British Government?
How important was a sense of humour during the war?
Were you able to relate to any of the characters in the book and if so, what drew you to them?
Has the author got the balance right between using her research to tell the factual story and her writing abilities to create an engaging narrative?
Do you think today’s women would rally to the support of the government in a future war and if so, what would be their main focus?
Did this book change your opinion on the Women’s Institute or the role of women on the Home Front in the war?