Explores the social pressure on a working-class family to conform and fight for king and country.
The Hendersons opens in 1914 just before the outbreak of World War I and concludes in 1919. It follows the lives of the eponymous Henderson family: William, a Sheffield barber, his wife, Lydia, and his four children, Matthew, Joe, Bob and Amy. William being a fervent churchman, lay preacher and pacifist, opposes the church’s call to arms and he and the rest of the family find themselves in a different kind of war, one which appears to have no end.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. As war begins in Europe, a family with three sons must examine their commitment to country and to each other. World War I begins and the three brothers decide not to serve. The decision to become Conscientious Objectors damages the family’s standing in town. All three boys are arrested and are jailed. Their sister, Amy, supports her brothers decisions. As the war continues, will the treatment of Conscientious Observers improve? Will the three Henderson boys survive imprisonment? This book offers a sweeping look at World War I from the viewpoint of a family suffering a different loss. The author does a good job describing the conditions of imprisonment. The bad food, filth, and poor treatment are tragically and vividly described. This is a unique viewpoint that hasn’t been explored. It is a fascinating story. ~ Debbie Viscosi (Reviewer), NetGalley
Daphne Glazer writes great stories, shocking and ordinary - like 'Coronation Street' directed by Martin Scorsese. ~ Roddy Doyle
This is a closely observed novel with universal themes, a serious work with lots of laughs. ~ Zoe Fairbairns, on 'Goodbye Hessle Road'