I don’t read many non-fiction books or biographies/autobiographies so this was something different for me.
It was fascinating to read a personal account of the effects the war had on one woman’s life and on society as a whole. Reading this book made me realise how little I actually knew about World War I. A lot of the places and events mentioned in the book were unfamiliar to me and left me wanting to find out more.
Rather than just relying on her memory, Brittain uses a number of different sources, including her private diaries and correspondence and verses from poems, some of which were written by Roland or Vera herself. As I read about all the pain and sorrow she was forced to endure, I became completely absorbed in Vera Brittain’s story. I found it very inspirational that despite having her entire world torn apart by the war, she was still able to go on to build a successful career for herself as a novelist, feminist and pacifist.
Although Testament of Youth was a long, demanding and often heartbreaking book, I’m glad I read it and I feel I learned a lot from it.
Genre: Non-Fiction (Autobiography)/Pages: 640/Publisher: Virago/Year: 1933/Source: borrowed a copy