Loved the way the story moved between the two women in different times, but who were, in the end, linked by the same house.
I had – sort of – known that the winter in the UK in 1947 was bad, but not quite as bad as was shown in this novel.
It must have been dreadful to experience when the UK had not yet recovered from WW2 and there were still shortages of basic foods and heating materials – the coal had frozen in the mines and the drifts were too high for the miners to get to work or coal to be transported.
An anti-cyclone sat over Scandinavia and there were 6 weeks of snow falling – 55 days in total. The temperature dropped to -21C in Bedfordshire and this was before people had thermal underwear and outdoor clothing that was suitable for this type of weather.
Newspapers were cut to 4 pages.
There were no electric fires (the main alternative to coal in most houses) between 9-12am and 2-4pm.
And no afternoon Greyhound Racing!
Over 20,000 acres of corn was destroyed by the cold.
That said, I personally experienced the winter of 1963 as a schoolgirl in the days before 1. Tights, and 2. Trousers were permitted to be worn.
I walked to school.
3.5 miles each way.
I thought my knees would never stop chapping and warm up!