Is history repeating itself?
When I finished writing and editing VICTORY GIRLS, the last of my wartime Lavender Road novels, I realised I could finally emerge from the 1940s. Writing the last three books of the series to my publishers’ tight, one-book-a-year schedule has kept me incredibly busy, and somewhat preoccupied, and it has been quite a delight to be able to re-engage with the real world!
But it is a world worryingly different to the one that I (figuratively) left four years ago. Over the summer we have had about 50 visitors to stay (that’s what happens when I stop writing books!) and I think almost every one of them has in one way or another commented on the general world-wide increase in intolerance, nationalism and xenophobia.
These words ring extra loud alarm bells for me because they are exactly the sentiments that were so prevalent in parts of Europe prior to the Second World War. I can hardly believe that, having spent so long researching the mood in Europe and the UK during the late 30s and early 40s, I now find the world moving, apparently blindly, in an unnervingly similar direction.
I am clearly not the only person concerned. Lots of readers have written to me, both from the UK and the USA, making the same point. Quite a few have remarked that watching the late night news was causing them anxiety and disrupting their sleep. Others have kindly said that my books have brought them hope that, even in very dark times, good sense and humanity can prevail.
Let’s hope that is the case! It is certainly important to remember that there are lots of good things about the world, so many lovely places, amazing wildlife, wonderful architecture, music, photography, art, theatre, films, fabulous books (never forget those!) and millions of good, kind, generous-spirited people. And although we do need to keep a wary and watchful eye out for extremist attitudes, it is not all doom and gloom. Sometimes, for our own peace of mind, we need to focus on that too.
So now, having probably depressed you at the beginning of this blog post, I am going to try and redress the balance by leaving you with some uplifting images from my wonderful post-writing summer!
Helen Carey’s latest novel THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET is now out in Hardback and eBook format in the UK and USA. The paperback withh be published in November 2017.
VICTORY GIRLS will be published in April 2018.
Great post, HB. I feel refreshed and renewed!
Reblogged this on themarcistagenda and commented:
Hello friends of themarcistagenda ; here is an, as always, thought provoking and illuminating post from the Blog of Helen Carey. Whilst it is quite a serious reflection on the state of the world, as ever, Helen manages to inject humour…once you have read, scroll down al the way through to the end of the pictures, to see why!
Have learnt a lot about that time through reading your books. Sad there will be no more on Lavender Road; what are you going to write next? You will, won’t you!! Your comments about history repeating itself, I agree with and several other people have commented on it as well. Let’s hope we learn from our past and don’t repeat the same mistakes. Your pictures are lovely, have only been to your area once on holiday, but we loved it, really beautiful scenery. Yvonne.
Thoughtful post, Helen.Sometimes I’m glad I can disappear into a writing world. But lovely photos. Thanks
Hopefully good will prevail
Thank you for the beautiful photos. I love photography myself and just purchased a new camera. That said, I am unhappy that Lavender Road series. I truly not much of a reader, but I sure hate to see this come to an end. I have always wanted to read about what it was like living in England during WWII. You did a remarkable job. I didn’t quite understand what your next series will be about? I will leave with one statement. Lavender Road I read before bedtime. After reading, I slept like a baby and enjoyed every book of the series. Thank you
Wow, what a stunning view you have from behind your house, Helen! Just seeing it must go a long way towards cheering your world-weary heart and reminding you that God is as rooted and stable as those mountains, unchanging and immovable, even though the earth seems to be in particular turmoil these days. Blessings on you and yours. 🙂 xo
Thanks for all these cheering pictures, but especially for the Brecon Beacons one which takes me close to home.