Roberta Harrison is navigating the shoals of teenage life in 1945. Her family has been touched by WWII in a variety of ways. Roberta is confused by the mixed feelings she has about German and Japanese people – her hatred for the evils of Hitler’s regime but her sympathy for a German POW, her stance against the Japanese but her feelings of remorse for the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The story written as a diary moves between the mundane and ordinariness of a young girl’s life and the extraordinary events in world history of 1945.
Thematic ties – family, WWII, change, coming of age, friendship
Haworth-Attard captures the sensibility of the era. It reminds me of the way my grandmother used to talk about her own young adult life. Like Roberta, my grandmother was the youngest in a large family. My grandmother would be slightly older than the protagonist but snap shots from her photo album and the inscriptions on the back speak to similar cares and worries.