A compelling WWII story, and a real departure from most books on war, as this one is a social history told through the civilians (and some soldiers) who lived through it. Alice, from Amherst, NS, Canada, mindful of the shortages in Britain, sent packages of staples and a few luxuries to British relatives who suffered through the blitz and the threat of invasion. She was doing her part to keep in touch with relatives on the other side of the Atlantic, as well as to alleviate some of the hardships caused by rationing, which lasted for some items until 1954. The fascinating letters (transcribed literally from original mostly hand-written correspondence) she received in return give us a woman’s perspective on the war. Although the letters often talk of family and difficulties of raising children in wartime, there are also very insightful accounts of the progress of the war itself and the politics surrounding it by intelligent, thoughtful women – especially Aunt Berta and cousin Helen. Berta’s letters are insightful and thoughtful, with a sophisticated turn of language, while Helen, also very literate, is more direct, speaking her mind in a razor-sharp, incisive and cogent manner. The story covers not only the run up to, and the war itself, but also the recovery that followed. An accompanying 15-year timeline (1935-1950), encapsulates the war on a global basis, illustrating the insidious nature of war, the treatment of Jews and other non-Aryans by the Nazis, and the widespread changes after the war as emerging countries strive for independence. A unique story narrated in a distinctive way by two authors, cousins, who grew up on opposite sides of the Atlantic.